Apple has lifted the ban of marijuana apps and delivery services on its App Store. Though it previously allowed apps like Leafly and Weedmaps, it had prohibited any apps that facilitated sales of cannabis.
The new policy was put in to place last month on June 7th. This is a huge opportunity for thousands of businesses, but it still holds some restrictions. The app must be geo-restricted, only allowing it to be available in jurisdictions where cannabis is legal. The app must be submitted to Apple by the legal entity that owns the business/service. It can’t be submitted by an individual developer.
Google, on the other hand, still completely prohibits any marijuana apps that facilitate cannabis sales. This is no surprise, as the tech industry has always had a strained relationship with the cannabis industry.
The policy previously stated:
“Apps that encourage consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store. Apps that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Facilitating the sale of controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies), marijuana, or tobacco is not allowed.”
The new policy states:
“Apps that encourage consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store. Apps that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Facilitating the sale of controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies and licensed or otherwise legal cannabis dispensaries), or tobacco is not allowed.”
“Apps that provide services in highly-regulated fields (such as banking and financial services, healthcare, gambling, legal cannabis use, and air travel) or that require sensitive user information should be submitted by a legal entity that provides the services, and not by an individual developer. Apps that facilitate the legal sale of cannabis must be geo-restricted to the corresponding legal jurisdiction.”
Google’s policy states:
“We don’t allow apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality.” Providing examples of common violations: “Allowing users to order marijuana through an in-app shopping cart feature; Assisting users in arranging delivery or pick up of marijuana; Facilitating the sale of products containing THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol), including products such as CBD oils containing THC.”
What does this mean for consumers?
Consumers will now be able to purchase products from legal cannabis businesses through marijuana apps on Apple’s App Store. This includes delivery services and ordering products online for pickup in-store. You must be within a legal jurisdiction to use these services.
Though there may not be many options for these types of apps right now, expect to start seeing them pop up soon. Follow your favorite delivery services on social media to stay updated on when/if these apps become available.