L.A. City Hall Vows to Crack Down on "Uber for Weed"
City Attorney Mike Feuer dials for dope
Photo by Gene Maddaus
L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer announced this morning that he is cracking down on on Nestdrop, the "Uber for weed" app that delivers medical marijuana to your door.
At a press conference this morning, Feuer said the app violates Measure D, the city's medical marijuana initiative, which limits delivery of medical pot to patients' primary caregivers.
"There is no lawful delivery service under Prop. D," Feuer said. "We're hoping that a court agrees with us."
Nestdrop began as an alcohol-delivery app. It started offering medical marijuana in L.A. about a month ago. It is just one of several medical marijuana delivery apps. The market leader is Speed Weed, which launched in 2012. Asked about Speed Weed, Feuer said other investigations are ongoing.
Feuer's lawsuit seeks an injunction that would prevent Nestdrop from selling marijuana in L.A. The suit also seeks penalties of $2,500 per day, plus $2,500 per transaction.
Nestdrop's spokesman, Nick Valente, had no immediate comment.
In an interview with the Weekly in October, Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher argued that the app is legal because Nestdrop does not actually make the deliveries. Instead, the company offers a platform that connects customers with pre-existing delivery services. Nestdrop takes a percentage of each sale.
"We want to make this a reliable, legitimate business model," Pycher said. "We're actually helping these smaller businesses — collectives — grow and become more viable."
Measure D allows a limited number of qualified marijuana dispensaries to operate. But those dispensaries must be at least 1,000 feet away from schools, and 600 feet away from parks, libraries and child care facilities. The suit alleges that Nestdrop's delivery service undermines that regulation.
"Defendants are flouting that statutory framework, and expanding the distribution of marijuana, by enabling mobile phone users to touch a screen to obtain marijuana from unaccountable distributors," the suit alleges. "The Court cannot allow such conduct to continue unchecked."
Update: Pycher vows to fight.
"As we’ve said from the beginning, Nestdrop is not a dispensary, collective, grower or even a delivery service," Pycher said in a statement. "Nestdrop is the technology platform that connects law abiding medical marijuana patients with local dispensaries to receive the medication that they need in a safe and secure manner."
Amanda Lewis contributed reporting to this article.
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