Google bans apps selling marijuana in Play Store

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Android users can’t purchase marijuana with the press of a button through a smartphone app anymore.

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Google on Wednesday announced it was changing its policy and banning apps that sold marijuana and other related products from its Play Store. Android apps can still promote marijuana, but they can't offer an “in-app shopping cart feature” that would allow users to arrange a delivery or pickup of the drug.

The change, listed on its “Restricted Content” page, states: “We don’t allow apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality.”

The new policy will affect popular marijuana-finding apps such as Eaze and Weedmaps. Eaze issued a statement to The Verge shortly after the new policy change, expressing its concern.

“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,” the app developers said. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause for customers and patients.”

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Google also said in a statement to The Verge that developers will need to move their shopping cart option out of the app.

“These apps simply need to move the shopping cart flow outside of the app itself to be compliant with this new policy,” the Google spokesperson said. “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.”

Google also wrote in its Android Developers Blog on Wednesday that the app store is intended to be a kid-friendly environment.

“At Google Play, we’re committed to providing a positive, safe environment for children and families,” the blog post read. “…After taking input from users and developers we are evolving our Google Play policies to provide additional protections for children and families.”

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Google’s main competitor, Apple, had already banned apps from its App Store that facilitated the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances.