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Monday, July 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Court Shuts Down L.A. Weed-Delivery App

LOS ANGELES (CN) - App developers behind a weed-delivery service for Los Angelenos cannot overturn an injunction, an appeals court ruled Monday.

When Joseph Pycher and Roddy Radnia started Nestdrop LLC in 2013, their mobile app of the same name was focused on arranging deliveries of alcohol within one hour customers placing an order.

They branched out and partnered with Los Angeles medical-marijuana dispensaries in late 2014, providing users with menus of local marijuana products.

A little over a month after Pycher and Radnia began to offer medical marijuana deliveries, they were issued the injunction.

City attorney Michael Feuer quickly slapped the men and their business with a complaint alleging that they caused, aided and abetted the illegal delivery of marijuana.

Pycher and Radnia balked when the Los Angeles Superior Court sided Feuer, but a three-judge panel with the Second Appellate District affirmed the injunction Monday.

The case hinges on whether Nestdop has immunity under Proposition D, which capped the number of medical-marijuana businesses in LA at 135 when voters approved the measure in 2013.

Los Angeles was home to an estimated 1,600 businesses before the city adopted the stricter regulations.

Finding that Prop. D virtually bans vehicle deliveries of medical marijuana, the appeals court noted that the law requires medical-marijuana businesses to keep a 1,000-feet minimum distance from any school, and a 600-feet distance from public parks, libraries, churches, child care facilities, youth centers, addiction-treatment facilities or other medical-marijuana businesses.

"With such a robust list of geographic restrictions, it would be difficult for a vehicle to navigate the city without running afoul of this provision - after all, schools, public parks, churches, and child care facilities are common city features," Judge Lamar Baker wrote for the panel.

Pycher and Radnia had claimed that Prop. D immunized their business model, but Baker said it "would subvert that fundamental purpose" of the law to authorize weed deliveries all over the city

"Proposition D as we interpret it therefore produces not an absurd result but the precise results voters intended: guaranteeing patients have access to their medicine without the harmful effects of widespread, unchecked distribution of marijuana," the ruling states.

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