Apple Lifts Ban on Cannabis Apps in App Store

Apple now allows for cannabis-related apps in its App Store, so long as the listed apps are tied to a legal and properly licensed entity.

Full story after the jump.

Apple will allow cannabis-related apps in its App Store, Marijuana Moment reports. Updated on June 7, the policy change includes restrictions that require cannabis delivery apps to be geo-restricted within legal cannabis boundaries, and applications must come from legal entities and not an individual.

The original policy read:

“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.” — Excerpt, Apple’s previous App Store policy, via Marijuana Moment

But a change in the policy wording last month carved out specific allowances for “licensed pharmacies and licensed or otherwise legal cannabis dispensaries.”

Chris Vaughn, CEO of the California delivery service Emjay, believes Google, which updated its policy in 2019 to explicitly ban cannabis apps, will “follow quickly” on Apple’s lead, he told WeedWeek. He said Apple was likely nudged by the legal cannabis movement in general — five states have legalized cannabis in 2021 alone, including New York, and the nation’s largest employer in Amazon this year announced it would stop drug testing employees for cannabis and would engage with lawmakers to help progress a federal cannabis bill.

Facebook, which has been accused of “shadow banning” some not-for-profit cannabis organizations including even the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission — the state’s cannabis regulatory agency — has not yet moved to change its cannabis policies, according to the report.

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