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Zane Gilmer featured by PYMNTS on How Digital ID Can Ease Marijuana Vending Machines' Legal Challenges

In the News
11.24.2021

Partner Zane Gilmer was recently featured in the November Digital Identity Tracker ® issue of PYMNTS magazine where he provided insight on how digital identification may help to ease legal challenges associated with marijuana vending machines.

As entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry are looking to expand their reach through automated vending machines that sell legal marijuana, Gilmer discussed the advantages and challenges of such vending machines and speaks to how digital IDs can facilitate solutions.

Gilmer notes that the advantages of marijuana vending machines are distinct. In his interview with PYMNTS, Gilmer said, "It means that you don't have to have an employee facilitating the transaction." Gilmer does note that other regulatory requirements still have to be met, such as the inclusion of record-keeping, quantity, age and identity verification, and that such requirements can be a major problem for any automated cannabis vending machine. "You have to identify and verify who the consumer is and that they're permitted to purchase whatever product that they're purchasing and the quantities that they're purchasing," Gilmer said.

Such tasks are difficult to achieve when you put your trust into technology, but Gilmer makes the case for the facilitation of automated vending machines through the use of digital identity solutions, like biometrics, to ensure that only legally authorized consumers can make use of the marijuana vending machines.

"You basically provide your identity to the machine through facial recognition, fingerprints and then your photo ID, and then it stores your data so you can do the same thing when you come back in to purchase more products," Gilmer said.

The execution of biometric technology is still in its early stages, which makes room for logistical questions such as how customer payments will be accepted. "You're still largely limited to cash transactions, but there are FinTech companies looking into how new payments technologies can be overlaid with the vending machine to further automate and digitize transactions," Gilmer said.

Gilmer is an experienced litigator who, in addition to representing financial service firms, represents marijuana-related businesses and other highly regulated industries.

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