Meet Legal Weed’s First Billionaire

His ATM machine dispenses pot, not cash

If Americans get their cash from an ATM and their Snickers bars from a vending machine, then why not automated cannabis distribution as well? In 2010, California entrepreneur Vincent Mehdizadeh received a U.S. patent for his “biometric dispensing marijuana machine.” His company, Medbox, has since gone public—and made Mehdizadeh the legal weed industry’s first billionaire. So, might the Maui Wowie Machine be coming to a mall near you? We called the inventor to ask. 

@UpperEastRob robert.klara@adweek.com Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.