Monday , October 18 2021

Weedmaps adds in-app cannabis purchasing for iPhone users

Thanks to Apple loosening App Store restrictions, Weedmaps users can now purchase cannabis within the popular app. This means Weedmaps users can browse, select and purchase cannabis and have it set for pick-up or delivery — all within the app. Previously, users could only locate and browse menus of local retailers thanks in part to restrictions by Apple and local and federal guidelines.

The updated app is now available.

The change comes after Apple opened up the App Store for some cannabis apps. Under the new guidance, licensed cannabis operators fall under the same restrictions (to Apple) as licensed pharmacies, allowing apps like Weedmaps, which lists licensed cannabis operators, to offer such services.

“Our ability to enable ordering functionality through our mobile iOS app is a game-changer that will improve accessibility for both our customers and business partners alike,” said Justin Dean, chief technology officer at WM Technology, Inc. “We commend companies like Apple that work with industry leaders to find solutions that drive innovation in our space. It’s encouraging to see policies and attitudes toward cannabis shift in a way that promises remarkable growth, and we look forward to introducing an even simpler way to order cannabis from retailers through our platform.”

Weedmaps sits at a unique position in the marketplace. As one of the leading cannabis apps, it’s already used throughout the country. Unlike competing delivery services, like Eaze, Weedmaps is not facilitating delivery. It’s only providing a platform for licensed delivery dispensaries to list their goods and services.

Under the new App Store restrictions, apps like Weedmaps must limit users to ordering within a geo-restricted area where cannabis sales are legal. This means if a user is living in a place where cannabis sales are illegal, they cannot order from a dispensary in a legal area.

Here’s the previous Apple App Store policy:

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), marijuana, or tobacco is not allowed.

Here’s the updated policy as of June 7, with the changes highlighted in bold:

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.

Apps that provide services in highly-regulated fields (such as banking and financial services, healthcare, gambling, legal cannabis use, and air travel) or that require sensitive user information should be submitted by a legal entity that provides the services, and not by an individual developer. Apps that facilitate the legal sale of cannabis must be geo-restricted to the corresponding legal jurisdiction.

This Article was first published on https://techcrunch.com/

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