Capitol Alert

Legal marijuana? California lawmaker tells Apple CEO there should be an app for that

How potent is that brownie? There’s an app for that

Peichen Chang of Engineered Medical Technologies demonstrates a device called a tCheck which measures the level of cannabinoids, such as THC.
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Peichen Chang of Engineered Medical Technologies demonstrates a device called a tCheck which measures the level of cannabinoids, such as THC.

A California lawmaker from Silicon Valley called on Apple CEO Tim Cook to remove the restriction against cannabis sales on the company’s app store.

“As you know, California law grants every adult over age 21 the right to purchase and consume cannabis and cannabis products,” Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, wrote in a letter to the CEO. “You and your team have the opportunity to support the will of California’s voters and reinforce the values of openness, inclusion and diversity that Apple is known for.”

California voters in 2016 voted to legalize recreational cannabis. The state is struggling to regulate the new industry while black market competitors compete with growers who want to comply with the law.

Cannabis has been legal for medical purposes in California since 1996, when voters approved Proposition 215. Advocates say Apple should make cannabis easier to obtain for ill Californians.

Cannabis is “a medical necessity for millions of Californians. Yet patients don’t have access to cannabis on Apple’s App Store, one of the most important digital commercial channels in the world,” Eric Sklar, of Californians for Equal Access, said in a statement supporting the letter.

Apple’s app store bans “’facilitating the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances’ or ‘encourag[ing] consumption of tobacco products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol’ through apps,” according to tech news website The Verge. Google recently banned marijuana companies from selling weed directly through Google’s Play Store.

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