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L.A. city attorney shuts down second pot delivery service

L.A. city attorney shuts down second pot delivery service
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 Friday announced another legal victory in its fight to stop companies from delivering marijuana.

City prosecutors have shut down the Los Angeles operations of Speed Weed, a popular pot delivery company that served 25,000 customers across the Southland.

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Cosmic Mind, the company that operates Speed Weed, has entered into a judicially enforced agreement to cease operating in Los Angeles next month, according to the city attorney's office.

It's the second pot delivery service forced to close in the city. Prosecutors sued to shut down Nestdrop, a smartphone medical marijuana delivery app in 2014. The Nestdrop injunction was affirmed by an appeals court in March.

City attorney Mike Feuer said Speed Weed violated the restrictions of Proposition D since opening in 2014.

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, according to the city attorney's office.

"This is another successful step in our sustained effort to uphold the voters' will under Proposition D," Feuer said.

Representatives from Cosmic Mind could not be reached for comment.

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 389 criminal cases against more than 1,500 defendants.

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 had said.

Gentile said he hoped to 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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UPDATES:

7:00 p.m.: This article was updated to clarify that the shutdown applies to Speed Weed's operations within the city of Los Angeles.

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