Google bans marijuana delivery apps from the Play Store – even in states where the drug is legal


Google is cracking down on weed delivery apps in the Play Store. 

The search giant updated its Play Store policy on Wednesday to say that it will no longer allow apps that either sell or facilitate in the sale of marijuana or marijuana products.

The ban even affects use of the apps in areas where marijuana is legal, according to Google’s site. 


The new policy states that the Google Play Store will prohibit apps that allow users to ‘order marijuana through an in-app shopping cart feature,’ ‘assist users in arranging delivery or pick up of marijuana’ or ‘facilitate the sale of products containing THC,’ such as edibles.

Apps that offer prohibited features like weed delivery have 30 days to comply with the new policies and remove any features that violate Play Store rules, according to Android Police.

If they fail to do so in that time frame, the apps are at risk of being removed from the Play Store. 

‘These apps simply need to move the shopping cart flow outside of the app itself to be compliant with this new policy,’ a Google spokesperson told Gizmodo.

‘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.’

As Gizmodo pointed out, while this prevents apps from listing on the Play Store, Android users can still sideload any apps onto their device.

Several marijuana delivery apps remain on the Play Store, such as Eaze and Weedmaps. 

Both apps are also listed in Apple’s App Store, but in accordance with the platform’s rules, they’ve removed the in-app shopping cart feature.  

An Eaze spokesperson told the Verge that the firm was disappointed by the decision, saying: ‘In California, and many other markets across the nation, lawmakers have established clear cannabis laws and regulations,’ the spokesperson said.

‘Eaze connects adults only to licensed, regulated cannabis retailers.

‘Google’s decision is a disappointing development that only helps the illegal market thrive, but we are confident that Google, Apple, and Facebook will eventually do the right thing and allow legal cannabis companies to do business on their platforms,’ they added.  

Google didn’t say why it was taking steps to prohibit marijuana delivery apps, though many suspect it could be part of a broader effort to make the Play Store more suitable for children. 

In December, numerous consumer, privacy and health groups filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission urging them to investigate whether children are at being put at risk by deceptive apps in the Google Play Store.     


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