As medical and recreational cannabis is becoming increasingly legalized in Europe, dispensaries are turning to the automation benefits of cannabis vending machines and in-store cannabis kiosks to add to where consumers can buy CBD products. A new cannabis vending machine was opened in Darmstadt. The products in the machine are not cheap. Flowers are available from $13 to $16.50 per gram.
There is a new CBD vending machine in Darmstadt, Germany as the chain of shops “Grünes Gold” is expanding.
The illustrated cannabis leaves on the window pane give a first hint that the vending machine in the small room in Darmstadt’s Südbahnhof is no ordinary candy machine.
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CBD vending machine is one-of-a-kind in Germany
The CBD vending machine showcases dried flower, extracts and chocolate bars with exotic names like “Gorilla Glue” or “Cannabubble.”
“They are over-the-counter cannabis products with and without cannabidiol (CBD,)” explained Karl Diehl, one of the three Darmstadt operators of the Cannamat CBD vending machine.
According to Diehl, the vending machine, which has been in the station building’s mini-shop since the end of December, is currently the only one of its kind in Germany.
The first CBD vending machine in Germany was installed in Trier at the end of 2018, but was also quickly confiscated by the police because products are said to have contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in too high a concentration in addition to cannabidiol (CBD) which is permitted.
According to media reports, a CBD vending machine in Neufahrn, Bavaria, was also confiscated on suspicion of a violation of the narcotics law.
How the CBD vending machine works
According to the police headquarters in southern Hesse, there is no reason to confiscate the CBD vending machine at the southern train station.
“There is currently no ruling that the sale is a criminal offense. The facts of the case are known and are currently being examined,” Senior Public Prosecutor Robert Hartmann announced.
The products in the CBD vending machine are not cheap. Flowers, for example, are available for $13 (€12) to $16.50 (€15) per gram. For extracts, prices range from $33 (€30) to $126.50 (€115) per bottle.
In order to withdraw products, customers must prove that they are over the age of 18-years-old by means of an identity card that they pull through a reader.
The CBD trend in Germany
“Above all, cannabis products support the human well-being,” said the operators.
CBD is a remedy for many health problems. However, the Cannamat CBD vending machine, which is open 24 hours a day, is not the only way to buy CBD products in Darmstadt.
Last year, one of the first CBD shops in Hesse opened under the name “Green Gold” at Julius-Reiber-Strasse. Behind it are Florian Wolf, Hüseyin Dündar and Timm Gros, who according to their own statements, have been self-employed in other areas for many years.
The company now employs 19 people. Since the summer of 2019, the company has also been operating as a franchisor. This resulted in shops in Bensheim and Mainz. They also opened shops in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt. A shop in Kelsterbach is to follow in February, and a shop in Stuttgart is planned.
“The demand is extremely high,” said managing director Timm Gros.
Several CBD shops are also in Frankfurt
In Frankfurt, cannabis products have enjoyed great popularity for a long time. According to the industry portal CBD-infos.com, many smaller suppliers are only equipped with CBD vapes for e-cigarettes, but the number of specialized CBD shops is also growing.
Suppliers include the Xtract CBD store and Sheeva Grow and Headshop. According to Gros, however, many customers are unsure that there is still a great need for education.
“We have to take away the worry that we are doing something illegal here,” reported employee Monique Heymann.
The Darmstadt shop offers around 30 different products. Anyone who wants to can try hemp leaf tea at the counter. It is said to have a relaxing effect when you drink a few cups and tastes like nettle tea.
CBD attracts more senior customers
Up to 50 customers come to the CBD shop every day and Heymann says that many are over 60-years-old. They complain of migraines, sleep disorders, skin problems or back pain.
“I never thought that such a small bottle could help me so much,” wrote a customer in the store’s online shop.
She had been able to reduce her medication for anxiety disorder and stopped taking her painkillers. It is also said to work on animals. Heymann gives her dogs cannabis oil on New Year’s Eve to calm them down.
Green gold products also have their price: depending on the CBD content, a 10-milliliter bottle of extract costs up to $126 (€115).
“Neither package inserts nor employees are allowed to provide information on how it is dosed and applied,” explained Gros. “Such advice is reserved for pharmacists and physicians. In the shop, however, customers can find out how other customers use the products.”
Some products look and smell like cannabis. Gros said that cannabis flowers contain only the permitted THC value of less than 0.2% and is regularly tested in a laboratory. The company is also in contact with the police and public prosecutor’s office.
“We are not drug dealers,” said Gros.
CBD vending machine company partners with local pharmacies
According to Gros, Grünes Gold now also cooperates with a pharmacy in Alsbach. This is because pharmacies usually only sell higher doses of prescription products.
“We close the gap between low-dose drugstore products and high-dose medical products,” said Gros.
However, he has not yet seen the CBD vending machine at Südbahnhof as a competitor. According to the CBD vending machine operator, the response is very good. Many people from all age groups would use the vending machine and Diehl is optimistic.
“We can imagine setting up more CBD vending machines,” he said.
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