California lawmaker wants Apple to start carrying apps from legal cannabis firms

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In a bid to help reverse the trend of Big Tech’s unfriendliness to marijuana-related smartphone apps, a California lawmaker who represents Silicon Valley recently sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking that the company’s app shop carry cannabis apps from licensed businesses.

State assembly member Evan Low, a Democrat from a suburb neighboring San Jose, wrote to Cook that the California Legislature is “working actively to break down barriers to lawful cannabis to ensure that consumers have access to safe cannabis products and alternatives to the black market.”

“In light of this, Apple’s policy of prohibiting applications that facilitate cannabis sales is of serious concern” to lawmakers.

“While Apple apps are permitted to facilitate the sale of alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs, including opioids,” he noted, “cannabis apps are singled out for exclusion on the platform, creating a significant barrier to lawful purchases.”

Low added that Apple’s policy supplies “inadvertent support for illegal suppliers” and said he hoped the company would change course.