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Medbox: Dawn of the Marijuana Vending Machine

The California company plans to be the Walmart of weed
Medbox: Dawn of the Marijuana Vending Machine
Photograph by Gregg Segal for Bloomberg Businessweek

“We are in the right place at the right time,” says Bruce Bedrick, a 44-year-old chiropractor, occasional pot user, and chief executive officer of Medbox, maker of one of the world’s first marijuana vending machines. “We are planning to literally dominate the industry.”

The two investors Bedrick is addressing at the offices of NewGate Capital Partners in Winter Park, Fla., smile politely. NewGate partner Joe Alvarez Jr. says he likes Medbox’s product but has concerns about the company’s roller coaster stock, which zoomed from about $3 a share to $215 in November and has recently bounced between $20 and $30. Alvarez doesn’t use the phrase “pump-and-dump,” but it hangs there like a cloud of smoke. Either way, Bedrick takes umbrage. “This is all crazy talk,” he nearly shouts. “Wall Street plays games with our stock all the time. We’re a retailer’s wet dream. We’re the leading player in an industry that’s ready to explode.” Alvarez says he meant no offense.