Marijuana Delivery App Shut Down by L.A. Authorities

Marijuana Delivery App Shut Down by L.A. Authorities
File photo by Timothy Norris/L.A. Weekly

A marijuana delivery app was shut down in Los Angeles after a judge granted a preliminary injunction against the service at the behest of the L.A. City Attorney's Office, authorities announced today.

The app, Nestdrop, recently halted its cannabis service in L.A. anyway, but it said in a statement today that it "will continue to service all areas outside of Los Angeles’ city limits."

The injunction, issued by Superior Court Judge Robert H. O’Brien, "will prohibit the operators of the app from facilitating deliveries of medical marijuana in the city and directs them to modify the app to remove any and all references to medical marijuana delivery in Los Angeles," the City Attorney's Office states.

City prosecutors, which filed their request for an injunction Dec. 2, are still seeking civil penalties against Nestdrop, which it says violates Prop. D., the voter-approved initiative that regulates medical marijuana in L.A. and limits the number of dispensaries in town to about 135.

The City Attorney's Office says medical pot delivery is forbidden under that 2013 law. Today City Attorney Mike Feuer celebrated the decision against Nestdrop:

This app is a flagrant attempt to circumvent the will of the voters who passed Prop D and we are pleased the court ordered NESTDROP to stop facilitating medical marijuana delivery. Prop D strikes a balance between the needs of patients and the desire of neighborhoods to regulate the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries. Prop D also provides that caregivers are able to transport medical marijuana to legitimate patients.

Nestdrop has argued that it does not actually deliver weed. It says it simply connects legit patients to delivery drivers and medical marijuana dispensaries, sort of how Uber says it puts drivers and riders together for "ride sharing."

Marijuana Delivery App Shut Down by L.A. Authorities
File photo by Timothy Norris/L.A. Weekly

The company today sent us a statement from Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher. Here's most of it:

We disagree with Judge LA Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien’s ruling as we are simply a technology company that connects patients in need with their medicine in a safe, secure manner. From day one, we’ve made it clear that Nestdrop does not grow, cultivate or deliver any medical marijuana and that our qualified partners manage each of these activities. Today’s ruling does not stop the delivery of medical marijuana in Los Angeles by the dozens of delivery services in the city; it only restricts Nestdrop from communicating information between a patient and a dispensary.

... While we agree with certain aspects of Proposition D, we believe the prohibition on delivery services is unnecessary and enforcement is a misuse of taxpayer funds. In fact, delivery services minimize the need for storefront dispensaries in residential areas – a point of issue in Proposition D - as these services bring the medicine directly to patients, no matter the location.

We are evaluating our options for the future in regards to Los Angeles and hope the city will change its misguided attempt at restricting medicine for patients. 

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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