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L.A. city attorney sues to stop Speed Weed from delivering marijuana

L.A. city attorney sues to stop Speed Weed from delivering marijuana
David Neale and Jennifer Costa pack a patient's order of medical marijuana in the offices of delivery service Speed Weed, headquartered in Agoura Hills. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles city attorney's office has sued to stop a popular marijuana-delivery service from operating in the city, according to court records.

Cosmic Mind, a corporation doing business as Speed Weed since 2014, delivers marijuana to an estimated 25,000 customers and has violated the restrictions of Proposition D, the lawsuit alleges.

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Under the measure passed in 2013, dispensaries and their landlords can be prosecuted if the shops aren't properly registered or if they fail to operate a legal distance from public parks, schools, child-care centers and other facilities.

Proposition D does not provide immunity from enforcement for a medical marijuana business made up of a vehicle that is transporting, delivering or distributing medical marijuana, the city attorney's office said in a release.

"Marijuana delivery services circumvent the will of the voters who passed Proposition D," city attorney Mike Feuer said. "My office will continue to ensure that only qualified patients, and primary caregivers, can transport medical marijuana."

More than 700 pot shops have closed in Los Angeles since voters approved Proposition D, according to the city attorney's office. City prosecutors have also filed 365 criminal cases against more than 1,400 defendants.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting the further operation of Speed Weed, including civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each day it's in violation. 

Attempts to reach representatives from Cosmic Mind were unsuccessful.

In a 2014 interview with The Times, Cosmic Mind owner Andrew Gentile said he paid business taxes and was operating legally under Proposition D. Speed Weed didn't have a storefront subject to the measure's zoning rules, Gentile said then.

Gentile said he hoped to one day franchise Speed Weed wherever medical marijuana is allowed.

The company was founded in 2011 after Gentile studied operation manuals for Domino's Pizza, Papa John's Pizza and FedEx. He learned how to build a network of hubs to limit the amount of marijuana or cash that any one driver carries, a precaution against robbery, he told The Times.

The company's delivery area stretched across 6,000 square miles, including all of L.A. County and the northern half of Orange County, Gentile said.

Follow @bposton on Twitter.

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