French oysters go on sale in vending machines

ILE DE RE, France (Reuters) – In a change from chocolates and fizzy drinks, the French are starting to offer fresh oysters from vending machines in the hope of selling more of the delicacy outside business hours.

One pioneer is Tony Berthelot, an oyster farmer whose automatic dispenser of live oysters on the Ile de Re island off France’s western coast offers a range of quantities, types and sizes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

French oyster farmers are following in the footsteps of other producers of fresh food who once manned stalls along roadsides for long hours but now uses machines.

“We can come at midnight if we want, if we have a craving for oysters. It’s excellent; they’re really fresh,” Christel Petinon, a 45-year-old client holidaying on the island, told Reuters.

The Ile de Re’s refrigerated dispenser, one of the first and with glass panels so customers can see what they are buying, is broadly similar to those that offer snacks and drinks at railway stations and office buildings worldwide.

A worker prepares oysters for the automatic oyster vending machine at l’huitriere de Re in Ars en Re on the Re Island, Southwestern France, August 2, 2017. Picture taken August 2, 2017.Regis Duvignau

Customers use their bank card for access, opening the door of their choice from a range of carton sizes and oyster types.

Berthelot, thirty years an oyster breeder, sees it as an extra source of revenue rather than an alternative to normal points of sale like food markets, fishmongers and supermarkets.

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“We felt as though we were losing lots of sales when we are closed,” he said.

“There was a cost involved when buying this machine, of course, but we’re paying it back in installments … And today, in theory, we can say that the calculations are correct and it’s working.”

Selling oysters from a machine bets on more than just open-mindedness among consumers. Live molluscs not kept cool enough or stored too long out of seawater can cause food poisoning when opened.

The Berthelots say the machine has an appeal to a younger generation accustomed to buying on the internet and unperturbed by the absence of a shopkeeper.

Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Andrew Callus and Alister Doyle

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Oklahoma boy puts quarter in vending machine, gets Nazi ring

(Reuters) – An Oklahoma mother is asking why her 4-year-old son received a ring with a Nazi symbol this week from a surprise vending machine for children in a Tulsa store.

Leona Kelley told Tulsa broadcaster KOKI-TV the gold-colored plastic ring with an eagle clutching a swastika in its talons came from a 25-cent vending machine at a Family Dollar store on Wednesday.

“We actually bought four things, and three of them were little dinosaurs or something,” Kelley told the broadcaster. “And on the fourth one, it so happened this fell out.”

Kelley was not immediately available for comment. In the television interview, she said she had asked the store to explain.

Family Dollar told the broadcaster the machine is stocked by an outside supplier, but would not identify the supplier. The store did not respond to calls seeking comment.

“It was made just like the other rings they’ve got in there,” Kelley said. “You can bend it up and shove it in here. So it was made for a vending machine. I just don’t understand why.”

(Reporting by Heide Brandes; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Doina Chiacu)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Would You Buy Weed From a Vending Machine?

Will Robots replace Budtenders?

The marijuana vending machine may not be a new phenomenon, but it’s one on the rise. Debuted in California over two years ago–and satirized by Jimmy Kimmel Live–the automated weed vendor has since spread its wings to the legal state of Colorado, and now, Canada’s evolving medical marijuana scene.

Earlier this week, Canada’s BC Pain society debuted their own–and Canada’s fist ever–marijuana ven-dank machine. Painted with some marijuana leaves and the BCPS name, this vending machine looks like any other, and appears to be this dispensary’s own creation opposed to the more traditional. corporate vending endeavor.

While patients still have to enter a dispensary to purchase weed from this machine, the Vendanks are naturally designed to combat long lines, waits, and convenience patients who know exactly what you want. From the sound of it, the machine will be updated rather regularly, meaning there wont be 6 month old shake available for purchase.

The one difference between this model and every other weed vending machine we’ve seen still now? You won’t have to put an ID into the machine for your marijuana or medibles–just insert cash (it only takes cash), make your selection, and voila: you’ve got weed.

Since the vending machine is located in the dispensary–opposed to some earlier iterations that are in lobbies for after hour purchases–it cuts out the need for the machine to use an Identification system. But still, what kind of patient would prefer a pre-packaged 1/8 that that might have been sitting in a machine for a few days as opposed to bar-like service?

According the club’s owner, that answer is people on the run and in the know:

Our regular members, they already know what they want, they can walk up straight up to the vending machine and get in and out quickly,” he went on. “They also know we’re not recording any of their sales, and they’re also happy with that. [RT]

Yet, would a connoisseur really buy bud through this kind of system? Even if a patient or high-bred stoner knows what he (or she) wants, he still wants to see that weed, smell that weed, find out how long that weed has been on the shelves for, and grill a budtender on all its attributes.

While OG Kush always sounds appealing, no batch of any strain is always the same. There could be an improper flush, a premature chop, or a poor cure. Simply put, you just won’t know exactly what’s in a bag unless you examine a strain under a light, put it to your nose, and, for the true aficionado, know how it was grown.

That said, for those on the run and in a rush, if the cannabis comes from a reliable, known source, a marijuana, vending machine can save you 15-30 minutes by cutting out the “middle man” and a lengthy wait.

Until you can utilize these machines in malls, movie theaters, and at sports events (one day), they’re unlikely to hit a critical mass. But, like most innovations in the industry, there’s a time and place for everything.


And as noted, over two years ago, WeedmapsTV debuted the first ever commercial for a cannabis vending machine. That was the Autospense and you can check it out below: