Legalised weed companies have been flooding iPhones with cannabis delivery apps, as Apple has finally allowed them to have a presence on the App Store.
Even though people have been able to buy drugs over the phone since, well, phones were invented, Apple have been keeping a tight lid on allowing legal marijuana companies onto the App Store.
The company’s previous policy stated that “apps that encourage consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store.”
The new policy, which changed this summer, now exempts licensed weed dispensaries and medical marijuana pharmacies – opening up a whole new digital realm for America’s legal weed industry.
Dozens of cannabis companies have since launched their own delivery apps to the app store.
The first app, Eaze, was approved in July for use by its two million registered customers.
It uses an interface similar to Uber Eats or Deliveroo, offering a full catalogue of marijuana products, live order tracking, and even reviews. In a statement, Eaze CEO Rogelio Choy said “it’s hard to overstate how important this is to our company and our industry.”
Since the launch of Eaze, a number of other weed delivery apps have hit the iOS app store, including Beta, Caliva, Pineapple Express, and Weedmaps.
The apps only function in states where recreational cannabis is legalised, and uses your GPS location to verify this. They also require users to upload their state-issued ID and a photo, and many set a minimum order price of $50.
America’s legal cannabis industry is now big business, ever since Vermont became the first state to legalise the drug in 2018. Since then, 36 states have legalised the drug for recreational or medical use.
About $5.3 billion dollars of investments have been made into over 544 cannabis companies since 2014, many of which operate ‘dispensaries’ where over-21s can get their fix from a wide selection of products.
Canada also legalised marijuana in 2018, but takes a slightly different approach to its southern neighbour: all the weed sold is produced by government-licensed vendors and shops.
The UK government says there are no plans to legalise cannabis – however, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says the city hopes to begin trialling decriminalisation.