Tech Companies in General Avoids Cannabis Apps Before US Legalization – LPC
Despite the fact cannabis is legal in 33 US states – and countries like Canada – Google has banned many cannabis apps. The Motley Fool quoted the following line in its article (please see link below):
“We don’t allow apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality.”
The “regardless of legality” part is not quite true, most experts suspect. If and when the United States legalizes cannabis, chances are American-based companies such as Google would change their stance on cannabis apps.
Among the cannabis apps Google is most worried about are apps used to order cannabis, arrange pickup or delivery, and that promote the sale of any products containing THC. The key seems to be whether or not the actual transaction takes place within the app.
“These apps simply need to move the shopping cart flow outside of the app itself to be compliant with this new policy,” a spokesperson reportedly said.
One of the cannabis apps featured in the article was Weedmaps, which is essentially a Yelp for cannabis. Another is Eaze, a cannabis delivery app. Both would likely be banned from the Google Play store.
Apple, Facebook Have Similar Bans on Cannabis Content – LPC
Apple’s App Store has long had bans on cannabis apps including apps that even hint at promoting cannabis use. Officially, Apple bans “facilitating the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances” through its App Store. It previously banned cannabis content provider MassRoots, but reversed that decision based at least in part on its medical-use information.
Facebook also recently decided to ban cannabis ads. According to the Motley Fool article, “The company determined that it would be difficult to roll out any policy allowing the advertisement or sale of cannabis given the different laws concerning marijuana in each country and/or US state.” However, it does allow ads for CBD. Motley Fool connected this with the US legalizing hemp in December 2018.
The ban on cannabis apps and cannabis content doesn’t seem to be on moral grounds, but more on protecting themselves legally. eBay’s response to why it doesn’t allow the sale of cannabis-related products sums it up:
“The sale of CBD products is highly regulated in many countries. While they may be legal to buy and sell in some countries, they are regulated by the (US) FDA and enforced by some law agencies. For this reason, we have decided to prohibit the items globally.” In other words, what the FDA and US Drug Enforcement Agency say, goes, regardless of how the rest of the world feels.
Until cannabis is legalized federally in the US, expect bans on cannabis apps and content to continue.
This editorial content from the LPC News Editor is meant to provide analysis, insight, and perspective on current news articles. To read the source article this commentary is based upon, please click on the link below.