Existing apps such as the popular Weedmaps and Eaze will need to remove the shopping cart functionality in order to remain on the Play Store.
May 30, 2019 2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag
As Business Insider reports, Google updated its Play Store Developer Policy this week to specify that, “We don’t allow apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality.” This is further broken down to mean that any app allowing users to order marijuana through an in-app shopping cart, assist a user in arranging delivery or pick up of marijuana, or “facilitating the sale of products containing THC,” are violating the rules.
It’s important to point out the same rules apply for tobacco and alcohol, but the new focus on marijuana means a number of Play Store apps need to change. For example, the two most popular Android apps for marijuana are Weedmaps and Eaze, and both need updating now. Google has no intention of removing these apps from the Play Store, but they must now remove the shopping cart functionality. Google is willing to work with them to facilitate the necessary changes and avoid future policy violations.
While banning all sales may be the easiest stance for Google to take, an Eaze spokesperson pointed out the decision will help the illegal market to thrive. That seems like a bit of a leap as those people living in an area where it’s legal to buy marijuana can still do so without need of the app, and I see no reason why they’d opt for an illegal purchase because the app no longer allows sales and delivery options.