Trouble Is "Growing" for SpeedWeed

Trouble Is "Growing" for SpeedWeed
File photo by Enrique Manrique/L.A. Weekly

SpeedWeed, a service that promises "medical marijuana delivered to your door," could be in more trouble today.

The City Attorney's Office has already asked a judge to ban SpeedWeed in Los Angeles, arguing that local law does not allow commercial cannabis delivery. Courts seem to agree with that stance.

Now, authorities say, a three-warehouse bust of pot-growing operations that included liquids, chocolates and hard candy labeled as "infused with THC" could allegedly be connected to the service.

The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement this week that Canoga Park neighbors made contact "to voice their suspicion of marijuana cultivation in the area." 

That led to an investigation by LAPD's Topanga Area Narcotics Enforcement Detail in conjunction with Gang and Narcotics Division detectives, who obtained a warrant to search the warehouses in the 8500 block of Canoga Avenue last week.

What did they find?

More than 10,000 pot plants, 300 pounds of "liquids, chocolates and hard candy labeled as 'inflused with THC'" and more than $7,000 cash, the LAPD alleged in a statement. The cannabis, 2,400 pounds worth, has a wholesale value of $4.8 million, cops said.

One of the three locations "was connected to a large-scale marijuana delivery service in the city of Los Angeles and surrounding areas," according to the statement.

While cops remained mum on the suspected service, the L.A. City Attorney's office confirmed to us that it is SpeedWeed.

In last month's request for an injunction against the service, the office alleges that SpeedWeed, which promises delivery to qualified patients who use a toll-free number or its website, "both sells and delivers marijuana."

"We allege SpeedWeed violates Proposition D by illegally delivering marijuana and also by using multiple non-immune physical locations within the city as distribution centers for these deliveries," the filing stated.

The company's co-founder, A.J. Gentile, has been an outspoken advocate of the superiority of his delivery service. And SpeedWeed's website says, "We do it the right way. We follow the law."

But if the legality of delivery services in L.A. was ever a matter of debate — some have claimed the law has created a gray area — a ruling by California's Second District Court of Appeal might have settled the matter.

Earlier this week the City Attorney's Office announced that the court affirmed an L.A. Superior Court decision that essentially bans marijuana delivery by app company Nestdrop, even though the firm argued it simply put dispensaries, drivers and patients in touch.

Meanwhile, the details of SpeedWeed's alleged connection to the warehouse weren't known. LAPD Officer Matthew Mauldin, who wouldn't name the firm, would say only that part of one of the warehouses "wasn't" related to the delivery service.

An investigation related to the bust was ongoing, he said.

When the search-warrant dust settled, seven suspects were arrested at one of the locations for suspicion of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana, police said.

"You can't have your own warehouse and grow 10,000-plus plants for medical marijuana dispensaries and make a lot of money off of it," Mauldin said. "If you're providing marijuana to dispensaries in exchange for cash, you can't do that. It's straight-up sales of marijuana."


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