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How The Grinch Stole Our Weed Delivery App
A darkness has come over typically sunny California: just shy of Christmas, Grinch and L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer has successfully thwarted Nestdrop, an app that delivered medical marijuana straight to your door.
There's an app for delivering just about everything to your door: food, alcohol, massages, groceries. Nestdrop was was always in a somewhat precarious position as it delivered a plant that, while legal in several states and Washington D.C., is still somehow illegal in fun-loving California, not to mention at a federal level. Nestdrop also delivered alcohol.
Feuer filed a complaint on December 2 saying that Nestdrop was violating Proposition D, a voter-approved measure that regulates dispensaries, and specifically the part that prohibits dispensaries from bringing marijuana to customers, L.A. Times reports. On Tuesday, Judge Robert O'Brien granted a preliminary injunction, shutting down the pot drops. Nestdrop is still allowed to deliver alcohol.
Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher disagreed with Feuer's claim, saying that his app doesn't have to abide by Proposition D because his company has nothing to do with handling or distributing marijuana.
"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," Pycher told the Times.
Pycher's workaround did not hold water with the judge, and Aaron Lachant, a lawyer whose firm helped write Prop D, told the Times he wasn't surprised. Prop D forbids dispensaries from delivering, and Nestdrop "was basically facilitating" just that.
Nestdrop is apparently not the only service that will bring marijuana straight to your door in Los Angeles, and Feuer says they are investigating those as well. Meanwhile, Pycher intends to expand his service to other parts of California, including San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.
Feuer also invoked Proposition D to shut down Los Angeles' first marijuana famers market. The market took place on the property of a dispensary, West Coast Collective, in Boyle Heights and gave patients the opportunity to meet growers face-to-face. Around 16,000 card-carrying patients showed up to their opening weekend over the 4th of July. West Coast Collective felt they were in the clear because they were one of the City's 135 approved dispensaries and said that they had been told by the City's Department of Building and Safety that they did not require zoning approval.
Feuer counted the market as a new dispensary and therefore in violation of Prop D, and a judge issued a preliminary injunction shutting them down in August. The judge also said that West Coast Collective had failed to provide proof that managers had submitted to a mandatory electronic fingerprinting process known as LiveScans.
According to a release from Feuer's office, he has worked to close 408 medical marijuana dispensaries in the 17 months he's been in office. He has also filed over 200 criminal charges against defendants.