With some limitations, you can now buy marijuana through Apple’s App store.
Apple has now allowed weed delivery apps to its app store, after it had previously banned such apps from facilitating marijuana sales. The previous policy forbade apps that “encourage the consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol,” as well as those that facilitate the sale of “controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies), marijuana, or tobacco.”
The new App Store policy, which was updated on June 7, makes an exemption for licensed pharmacies and “licensed or otherwise legal cannabis dispensaries.”
A month later, Apple approved the first cannabis delivery app on the App Store. Eaze is a California delivery company with over 2 million customers. It launched their shoppable delivery app in July 8. Eaze allows users to sell cannabis products between retailers and customers. The retailer hires staff independently to deliver and verify buyer’s identities. A statement from Eaze described the app’s launch as a “major milestone for the legal cannabis market and consumers.” Customers had to use Eaze for all cannabis transactions before Apple removed the ban.
Rogelio Chuy, CEO of Eaze said that it was hard to emphasize how crucial this app is for the company and industry. It’s a great honor to be able launch the first Apple Store-exclusive fully functional cannabis delivery app.
Other cannabis delivery companies have joined the App store, such as Pineapple Express, Caliva and Beta. Weedmaps, which allowed users to locate and browse local dispensary menus, updated its app on Wednesday to allow customers to purchase products directly from dispensaries through the platform.
Weedmaps had an Apple-approved App before the new policy. This was because the app didn’t facilitate cannabis product sales. It was only able to allow customers to browse local dispensary options before the update. Customers had to either use the off-app service or go in person to actually purchase anything.
It’s encouraging that attitudes and policies toward cannabis are changing in a manner that will promise remarkable growth.
Justin Dean, chief technology officer at WM Technology, Inc., stated in a statement that Apple is commended for working with leaders in the industry to create solutions in this space. It’s encouraging that attitudes and policies toward cannabis have changed in a manner that will lead to remarkable growth. We look forward to making it easier to place orders through our platform for cannabis retailers.
However, there are some restrictions on cannabis apps. Apps that provide services in areas such as banking, cannabis or healthcare or those that involve sensitive information must go through the App Store. Not an individual developer, but a legal entity. Any app that allows legal marijuana sales is geo-restricted. The bottom line is that Eaze or other cannabis apps will not be accessible to residents in states where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use. For example, if you live in Idaho you will not be able to download any of these apps for ordering weed from Oregon.
Although Apple’s lifting of the ban represents a significant step in changing public attitudes toward marijuana, Google still bans apps that allow for weed sales. As of 2019, Google Play store apps aren’t allowed to offer any “in-app shopping cart feature,” the Verge reported, that would facilitate “arranging delivery or pick up of marijuana.” No matter what legal status, Android apps cannot facilitate the sale or purchase of marijuana.
Marijuana Moment noted in 2019 that the Google Play’s policy previously didn’t mention cannabis at all. The policy change followed an FTC complaint that alleged Google Play wasn’t proactive in vetting apps in the store’s kid section. Although the apps used to facilitate cannabis product sales were not removed from Google Play, a spokesperson for Google told Marijuana Moment they “simply have to move the shopping cart flow out of the app to be complained with this policy.”
Users of iPhones in legal states can, however, order marijuana without leaving the couch.
Publiated at Wed 11 August 2021 21.55:04 +0000