Crime & Justice

Judge blocks Nestdrop marijuana delivery app in LA

Screenshots from the Google Play Store show different views of the Nestdrop mobile delivery app. On Tuesday, a judge on Tuesday, December 23, 2014, ordered the company to stop delivering medical marijuana in Los Angeles, but an attorney for Nestdrop says the app only connects legitimate patients to local dispensaries already regulated by the city.
Screenshots from the Google Play Store show different views of the Nestdrop mobile delivery app. On Tuesday, a judge on Tuesday, December 23, 2014, ordered the company to stop delivering medical marijuana in Los Angeles, but an attorney for Nestdrop says the app only connects legitimate patients to local dispensaries already regulated by the city.
Screenshots from Google Play Store

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In the latest skirmish in its long-running fight to shut down illegal medial marijuana operations, the city of Los Angeles on Tuesday won a court order to stop a smartphone mobile app from delivering it to patients in the city.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert H. O'Brien sided with lawyers for the city who said Nestdrop is violating Proposition D, a voter-approved law that regulates the city's 135 legal medical marijuana clinics. The law states medical marijuana may only be transported by a patient or caregiver. 

"The voters had in mind that there would be in some circumstances the need to transport medical marijuana but that's where Proposition D begins and ends when it comes to delivery," City Attorney Mike Feuer said after the hearing. 

However, in court, an attorney for the mobile app said his company simply connects legitimate patients with pot shots that are already regulated by the city.

Attorney Arthur Hodge said Nestdrop is a third-party application, similar to Ebay, and should be allowed to operate regardless of the materials it is delivering. He's planning an appeal.  

"Wouldn't people want medical marijuana patients to be able to receive delivery of the medicine and not have to get in their car and go drive to get it?," Hodge said outside the courthouse. 

O'Brien's injunction is in effect until the case goes to trail next year.

It doesn't affect the rest of Nestdrop's delivery territory - which includes Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Inglewood.

Feuer told reporters his office is investigating at least one other business accused of delivery medicinal cannabis. 

More than 400 pot shops in Los Angeles have been shut down since the summer of 2013. The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office also shut down a medical marijuana farmers market in Boyle Heights. 

In advance of Tuesday's court hearing, Nestdrop released a YouTube video asking for customers' support in continuing deliveries: 

This story has been updated