Alphabet Inc's Google on Wednesday banned apps on its app store that facilitate the sale of marijuana or related products, as part of a change to its content policy.
"We don't allow apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality," reads Google's policy.
Here are some examples of common violations:
— Allowing users to order marijuana through an in-app shopping cart feature.
— Assisting users in arranging delivery or pick up of marijuana.
— Facilitating the sale of products containing THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
This means, developers only need to move their shopping cart option outside the app to comply with the new policy, a Google spokesperson told Reuters.
Google also states that the policy is applicable whether or not a region has legalised marijuana or marijuana products.
What this means is that apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana in the state of California, where sale and consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes for adults aged 21 years and older is legal (even though marijuana remains illegal at the federal level), would not comply with Google's policy.
Google said it is working with many of the developers to answer any technical questions and help them implement the changes without customer disruption.
Existing apps would have 30 days post-launch to comply with the policy.
"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," a spokesperson for Eaze, a marijuana delivery app, said.
With inputs from Reuters and IANS.