Apple recently updated the App Store terms to permit marijuana delivery services and licensed marijuana dispensaries to publish apps for Apple devices, with some restrictions.
- Apple now welcomes marijuana businesses on the App Store
- Marijuana apps are restricted to jurisdictions where cannabis is legal
- Apps must be submitted by a legal entity that provides these services
Apple is now accepting marijuana apps on the App Store
iPhone in Canada passes along a new report by Marijuana Moment, which spotted a change to the App Store terms of business, dated June 7, which has lifred the company’s previous ban that prohibited apps that sell or promote cannabis products to be accepted into the store.
With this change, Apple id no longer taking a stance againsts apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products. However, such apps must be geo-restricted to the corresponding legal jurisdiction where cannabis is legal. Moreover, they must be submitted by a legal entity that provides these services rather than an individual developer.
Here’s an excerpt from the updated App Store policies (emphasis ours) from Apple’s website:
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 and licensed or otherwise legal cannabis dispensaries) or tobacco is not allowed.
The document goes on to specifically acknowledge that apps that provide services in “highly-regulated fields“, such as legal cannabis use, should be submitted by a legal entity that provides the services and not by an individual developer. It also states that “apps that facilitate the legal sale of cannabis must be geo-restricted to the corresponding legal jurisdiction.“
This is a major pro-cannabis development to come out of the technology industry while Google’s Play Store continues to maintain its ban on marijuana businesses. That being said, Google will surely legalize marijuana-selling apps soon given the state of marijuana legalization in the US and elsewhere—and, in particular, lobbying efforts for broader legalization.