By Steve Elliott
Vending machines could become one of the latest additions to Canada's medical marijuana industry, if Chuck Varabioff of the British Columbia Pain Society has his way.
Varabioff, who provides medical marijuana to Vancouver residents 19 and older, said his goal is to install the vending machines in clinics and nursing homes, reports the New York Daily News. He already has the machines installed at his Vancouver storefront dispensary.
For $4 Canadian, the brightly lit machine drops a plastic ball filled with Cotton Candy; $6 will get you Purple Kush. A variety of other strains is available.
The British Columbia Pain Society is one of about 400 medical marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver. The shops operate in a legal gray zone since a federal court ruling stymied Canada's latest attempts to regulate its distribution.
Under the new scheme, as of April 1, about 30,000 home-growing operations by patients across Canada were to be replaced by just a few large, commercial grow operations.
But many of tthe smaller growers -- particularly in British Columbia -- have refused to step aside.
While marijuana is illegal outside the federal medical marijuana program, Vancouver police said in March that it is not one of their top priorities, which are instead focused on gangs and hard drugs including cocaine, meth and heroin.
"Medical marijuana dispensaries operating today in Vancouver don't meet those criteria," a police statement said.