CUPPERTINO, Calif. – Apple Inc. no longer prohibits cannabis-related apps in its online App Store. The technology giant placed limits on its largesse, however: Apps may be submitted only by licensed delivery services in legal states, not independent developers, and geo-fencing will be enforced. Geo-fencing limits access to users in specific geographic areas — in this case, areas specific to the delivery service, not the entire state in which it is licensed.
The move came as part of a larger initiative to crack down on fraud and scams.
California delivery service Eaze launched an app on the platform within three weeks. For iPhone users, the software replaces an only moderately user-friendly web-based mobile interface with a much easier-to-use, more versatile product that allows customers to verify age and identity, select products, pay, and track orders. The app was developed in-house.
“It’s deeply gratifying to launch the Apple App Store’s first fully-functional cannabis delivery app, making it even easier for our two million registered customers to legally consume,” said Chief Executive Officer Rogelio Choy.
Users of Android-based phones are not so lucky: Alphabet Inc. continues to prohibit cannabis-related apps on its Android hub, Google Play, regardless where the developer or consumers are located. The company specifically banned such apps in 2019 and to date has shown no indication it will change the policy. “We don’t allow apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality,” the platform’s rules state. Google Play prohibits both THC- and CBD-related software.