Los Angeles city attorney sues to block mobile phone app for medical marijuana delivery
The Los Angeles city attorney filed a lawsuit Tuesday to shut down a mobile phone application that arranges medical marijuana home deliveries.
The suit alleges that the iPhone and Android free app, Nestdrop, is a "flagrant attempt" to bypass restrictions contained in the medical marijuana law approved by Los Angeles voters last year.
Nestdrop links customers with delivery services. It started as an alcoholic beverage delivery service but added marijuana in November, promising arrival within an hour.
Pot delivery is currently only available in Los Angeles but the company has said it wants to expand throughout Southern California.
Customers must prove they have a doctor's prescription and must be a member of a medical marijuana collective, although they can join a local one through the app.
The company said it works with local dispensaries that can provide pot in bud, edible and concentrated forms.
The lawsuit argues that the law only permits medical marijuana patients to pick up the drug for themselves, or for caregivers to pick up pot for their patients.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, asks a judge to permanently bar Nestdrop from arranging marijuana deliveries and fine the company that owns the app, Nestdrop LLC, $2,500 a day since at least Nov. 12.
Nestdrop LLC had no immediate comment on the lawsuit but in an October press statement, the company said it complies with all California medical marijuana laws.
"Suffering patients are often less mobile and can be restricted by their ailments or are even uncomfortable visiting a dispensary," Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher said in the statement.
Several other apps also offer delivery to Southern California areas but so far, only Nestdrop LLC has been targeted.
"This is the first (case) and those others are operating at their own peril," said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the city attorney's office.
Since Feuer took office last year, the city attorney has closed more than 400 medical marijuana dispensaries it said were unlawful — about half of all dispensaries operating in the city — and filed more than 200 criminal cases against dispensary operators and property owners.