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L.A. city attorney asks judge to stop smartphone app for pot, alcohol

Smartphone app lets users order alcohol, medical marijuana

Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer said Tuesday that he is trying to shut down Nestdrop, a smartphone application that allows customers to order medical marijuana to be delivered to their door.

The app, which can also direct a driver to deliver alcohol, expanded to medical marijuana earlier this year. Nestdrop markets itself as the first app-based, on-demand medical marijuana delivery service in the country.

Feuer filed a court complaint Tuesday seeking a preliminary injunction against the company.

The lawsuit alleges that Nestdrop’s service makes a “flagrant attempt to evade the restrictions on the unregulated and illegal delivery of marijuana by motor vehicles.”

Feuer said Tuesday that Nestdrop cannot operate under Proposition D, a citywide measure passed by voters last year. It prohibits the operation of pot shops unless they meet several requirements, including being registered under past city ordinances and operating an adequate distance from public parks, schools, child-care centers and other facilities.

Feuer’s lawsuit says those exemptions that allow storefronts to continue to stay open don’t apply to “a medical marijuana business comprised of a vehicle that is transporting, delivering or distributing medical marijuana.”

In a statement to The Times, Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher said he would fight the request for injunction.

He said the company is “not a dispensary, collective, grower or even a delivery service.”

“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,” he said.

Feuer said that there would be no consequences for people who have used Nestdrop’s app. When asked if the company could continue operating while waiting for a decision from the court, Feuer said, “at their peril.”

“They cannot deliver medical marijuana within the city of L.A. period,” he said.

Hundreds of marijuana delivery services exist across Southern California. Feuer’s staff said they have other investigations underway. Feuer also announced Tuesday that he has overseen the closure of 402 medical marijuana dispensaries, about half of those existing when he took office less than a year and a half ago.

Follow @skarlamangla on Twitter for more L.A. politics news.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATED

5:08 p.m. This story was updated with comments from Nestdrop.

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