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Google bans apps facilitating sale of cannabis

Google is introducing new laws on its Android app store, aiming to make it more difficult to have cannabis delivered to US homes.

Although cannabis legislation differs in this jurisdiction it remains unclear whether the same approach will be taken in the UK, in terms of stricter control of what apps can provide. From now on, apps can still advertise and promote their service, but they can’t offer any kind of direct purchase option or help with ‘arranging delivery or pick up of marijuana.

Clamping Down on the Google Play Store Route

The regulation is to be applied across Google’s Play store for all Android phones and tablets, with the company stating, no app can ‘facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality.’

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Since the gradual loosening of marijuana laws in the US, a number of weed-based apps have sprung up on the Google Play store. The most well-known of which is Eaze, which is a medical marijuana delivery app- referred to as the ‘Uber of weed.’

Cannabis Plant & US Flag

Work Around Offers Alternative

The change in rules was quietly added to the app store but the US tech company clarified its position with a statement. Google doesn’t want weed selling on Android’s Google Play Store (Getty) ‘These apps simply need to move the shopping cart flow outside of the app itself to be compliant with this new policy,’ the tech company told Android Police.

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‘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.’

Using the Play Store isn’t the only way to get an app onto a user’s phone or tablet. If developers make an app’s APK available as a downloadable file, then the program remains as it is. Users can side-load it onto their phones and go about their business while Google continues to promote the Play Store as a weed-free environment.

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