Google updated its Apple Play Store policy and now, applications that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products are not permitted. Such applications are not permitted, even where states permit them.
Specifically, the policy states that the play store does not “allow apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality.” The play store also identifies some examples of “common violations.” These “violations” include: “Allowing users to order marijuana through an in-app shopping cart feature,” “Assisting users in arranging delivery or pick up of marijuana,” and “Facilitating the sale of products containing THC.”
Marijuana Moment spoke with a spokesperson, who pointed out that those affected by the policy may be able to work around it. The representative explained,
“These apps simply need to move the shopping cart flow outside of the app itself to be compliant with this new policy. We’ve been in contact with many of the developers and are working with them to answer any technical questions and help them implement the changes without customer disruption.”
In addition, the spokesperson added that the company understands that cannabis-related applications are popular and hopes that such applications will continue using the Play Store. Further, the company is working with impacted applications.
In addition to the aforementioned policy, there is another section that addresses apps that facilitate the sale of tobacco. According to the policy, apps that “facilitate the sale of tobacco (including e-cigarettes)” are banned.
Google reported in a blog post the purpose of the policy changes. It stated that it is working to build a safer Google Play for Kids. The post adds,
“After taking input from users and developers we are evolving our Google Play policies to provide additional protections for children and families. These policy changes build on our existing efforts to ensure that apps for children have appropriate content, show suitable ads, and handle personally identifiable information correctly; they also reduce the chance that apps not intended for children could unintentionally attract them.”