If you are like me and had no clue that it was even possible to purchase weed on the Play Store then this news comes as a double shock. While in Kenya and a few other countries the consumption of marijuana, otherwise known as weed is illegal, a few states in America have actually legalized, not only the medicinal use of the drug but also recreational use.
Such policies are what has led to the budding of a few startups in the USA that offer both information on the use of weed as well as facilitate the legal purchase of weed.
The new policy statement indicates the following as violations on the Play Store:
- Allowing users to order marijuana through an in-app shopping cart feature.
- Assisting users in arranging the delivery or pick up of marijuana.
- Facilitating the sale of products containing THC.
Google’s move will affect quite a number of apps but the two that will take the biggest hit include Weedmaps and Eaze, who have built products around offering weed information and deliveries.
“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,” said Google in a statement to Android Police.
The news was not received well by the apps affected, with one of the developers, Eaze terming Google’s decision as one that will help the illegal weed market, “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. We regret any inconvenience this may cause for customers and patients.”
Google isn’t the only company to pick a fight with weed apps, Apple also launched a crackdown on weed-selling apps back in 2015 but the company has been quiet ever since.