From Holy Water to … Pot?

Posted on January 30, 2008

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I’m fascinated by vending machines.  Especially today after I read that that L.A. is keeping up with its cutting-edge image by dispensing marijuana in vending machines.  Also, last month, I saw both Proactive – the acne face wash miracle – and Elizabeth Arden’s high-end cosmetics sold in airport vending machines… the list goes on and on.  You can buy iPods, candy, water, cigarettes… whatever you want.  What a great invention.  I had to know more. 

Where does GenXYZ go when they want to know more: Wikipedia, of course.   There, I learned that the very first vending machine was invented to dispense holy water.  That made me smile given today’s news.  I also learned this about Japan: "While the majority of machines in Japan are stocked with drinks,snacks, and cigarettes, one occasionally finds vending machines sellingitems such as bottles of liquor, cans of beer, fried food, underwear, pornography and sexual lubricants, and potted plants. Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita, with about one machine for every 23 people."  That makes sense — lots of people, small space, stuff to sell = vending machines.  There are lots of ideas I wish I’d had first.  Vending machines have just moved to the top of that list.

If I had to make a prediction for the future, I’d say that we’ll see more high-end goods sold through vending machines.  Cosmetics and electronics are natural fits — in fact, sometimes the sales people are so annoying, you’d rather use a vending machine.  My-so-called-generation is already comfortable buying things online, and we’re into retro-hip… so, I think you’ll see more of these late-model holy water dispensers popping up in a city near you.

And just to put the perfect ending on this story.  Here’s the BEST quote from today’s AP story: "But the machines’ customers say the new gadgets help prevent illegaluse. "You have kids that want to get high and that’s not what marijuanais for," says one."  Right. 

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