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A smartphone application named after a mythological bird lets users browse marijuana the same way they might a potential date.

Budbo, developed by a four-member team, uses the familiar swipe left/swipe right mechanic from the dating app Tinder to allow users to pick what strain of weed they’d like to purchase, and – if you live in a state like Washington that allows marijuana sales – where to get it.

“We built the solution we couldn’t find,” said Nick Heldreth, one of the founders of Budbo.

The application includes features found in smartphone programs from other companies like Leafly and Weedmaps, which offer information on specific strains and the closest place you can buy them. The Tinder-like swiping mechanic, labeled “puff” and “pass,” is an invention of Budbo, Heldreth said, and is intended to make shopping for a particular product easier.

The program pulls information from the websites of dispensaries and displays flower, concentrates and tinctures. Budbo hopes to begin charging dispensaries to promote their products on the application, Heldreth said.

Budbo is a play on “Bubo,” the name of the mechanical owl in the original “Clash of the Titans” film that assists film protagonist Perseus. Both Budbo and companion app Barbo, which provides users with a list of drink and food specials at nearby bars, use a wide-eyed, cartoon owl as their mascot.

Heldreth said the logo is not meant to entice younger users of marijuana, which is outlawed under the laws governing advertising in the state’s regulations of the drug, but to show the app provides a similar service to marijuana consumers as the mythological owl in the 1981 movie.

“We definitely don’t want to market to children,” Heldreth said.

The app is available for free on IOS and Android devices.

Budbo, a play on the magical guide owl Bubo from the "Clash of the Titans" films, is a new smartphone application that uses familiar mechanics to show you where to buy a certain strain of marijuana.

Swipe Right to Buy Weed: Dealers Use Tinder to Sell Drugs

Swipe right to find your pusher. In a bid to reach more customers, drug dealers are taking to popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and even dating app Tinder.

While on Facebook they post their announcements on specific groups, on Instagram pushers rely on hashtags such as #weed #drugs and so on which wanna-be buyers can easily find. On Tinder, they generally post pictures of what kind of drugs they are putting up for sale, plus a short description.

Transactions are usually arranged by chat and the drugs are either handed during a face-to-face meeting or posted to the buyer’s address. Payments are carried out via prepaid credit cards or untraceable cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The criminal use of Tinder had already been documented in October 2015 in the Liverpool Echo, when an undercover reporter met and confronted a cannabis pusher he found on the match-based dating app.

C’mon. If someone matched with me on Tinder and tried to sell drugs to me my first thought would be: NARC

Tinder — which has surged in popularity in London and other cities over the past few years — is particularly fit for the purpose, as it can be set to show only potential “matches” that are in the same area as the user. This effectively allows pusher to address only buyers in their immediate vicinity, which makes for quicker transactions.

In general, signing up to these apps and social media enables drug peddlers to get access to young people that might be curious about drugs but do not know how to procure them.

While the media have just started noticing the trend, more sensitive online communities such as Reddit had already reported and discussed incidents involving Tinder and drugs at least one year ago.

Two separate posts — ‘Tinder a new form of marketing or drug dealing’ and ‘How I met my drug dealer’ appeared on the r/tinder subreddit and show what seem to be pictures of drug-peddling Tinder profiles advertising the sale of marijuana and illegal “smart drug” Vyvance.


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Swipe right to find your pusher. In a bid to reach more customers, drug dealers are taking to popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and even dating app…