This week in marijuana news, as the state slides toward the inevitable full-scale legalization of cannabis as soon as next year, and a month after California just hired its first "marijuana czar" to prepare for that, we learn of a court case in Los Angeles in which weed delivery service Nestdrop has been kicked out of town based on the local law limiting the number of dispensaries in city limits. As the AP reports, Nestdrop tried to argue that the 2013-passed Prop D in the City of Los Angeles was pre-empted by the state vehicle code, and that they were merely a delivery service and not a "medical marijuana business" as defined by the city code. An appeals court judge disagreed.
Nestdrop previously had an injunction filed against it by the LA city attorney, though it has continued deliveries in the city despite the injunction, as TechCrunch reported last April. The company, which began in LA, started out as a booze delivery app like Saucey, and then expanded into the lucrative medical marijuana delivery business. Toeing the party line that weed delivery is mostly for the sick and not just for the stoned and lazy, Nestdrop founder Michael Pycher said at the time, "Our stance is that the patients really needing medical marijuana the most are the ones who can’t get to a dispensary and would need it brought to them safely and easily."
In the meantime, Nestdrop has gone on to expand to six other California cities, as well as Seattle and Portland.
But Los Angeles residents specifically wanted to limit the number of marijuana businesses when they approved Prop D, which stipulated that only those dispensaries already in compliance with LA regulations and in operation since 2007 or prior were allowed to stay in business West Hollywood, meanwhile, has its own separate regulations and limits.
Other weed delivery services like Nugg and Eaze also deliver in and around LA and could face similar legal troubles if they come within the boundaries set forth by Prop D. Likewise, similar laws enacted in other municipalities will affect these services ability to operate legally in places all over the state, especially in towns or counties that have banned marijuana sales altogether.
And Nestdrop's story is not the only one of a delivery service pushing the legal envelope around medical cannabis. As TechCrunch reported last June, Eaze also launched their highly questionable EazeMD service that provides medical marijuana cards over the phone.
Meanwhile, in Northern California, the city of Emeryville is getting really late to the game and is set to legalize medical marijuana in the next few weeks. As the East Bay Express reports, city councilmembers this week voted on an urgency measure to allow delivery services into the city, and open at least one dispensary there.
The urgency does seem a little odd, though, given that Emeryville residents who need medical pot have probably not had much trouble getting it since Oakland is right there, and stands as one of NorCal's capitals of pot sales.