The creators of a smartphone-based marijuana delivery app reached out to the public Wednesday to help fund their fight against a lawsuit by City Attorney Mike Feuer.
Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher told City News Service the app offered patients a way to get their medical marijuana “safely and discreetly.” A December court order issued at the request of Feuer’s office has prevented the company from arranging deliveries of medical marijuana.
Nestdrop is appealing the injunction, which does not affect Nestdrop’s alcohol delivery service.
To fund their legal fight, Nestdrop founders are asking medical marijuana patients, tech companies, marijuana dispensaries and other supporters to pitch in financially, with a goal of raising $70,000. Donations can be made online at http://www.gofundme.com/freenestdrop .
Pycher said the company filed the appeal two weeks ago after Feuer failed to respond to a letter asking for a meeting to smooth over what he called a misunderstanding about what the company does.
Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, confirmed they received the letter but did not arrange a meeting. He said “voters overwhelmingly passed Prop. D,” which clearly says the “delivery of medical marijuana is illegal,” adding that “we went to court and the judge agreed.”
Pycher said company officials want to “sit down with the city and show them who we are,” he said. “I don’t think they knew what Nestdrop was about when they came out with guns blazing.”
Nestdrop “is a company that wants to do things correctly” and had thought Feuer would be “excited” by the existence of the service, Pycher said.
Pycher insisted their app is legal under Proposition D, a voter-approved law that restricted the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city to a list of about 100. He said Nestdrop ensures that deliveries are made only to card-carrying medical marijuana patients, which is allowed under Proposition D.
“We know the laws, and we know we have a legitimate fight here,” Pycher said.
He added that “if this goes the wrong way, all of the delivery services are going to get hit next, and it just sets a precedent that is going to stunt the whole industry.”
Representatives of Nestdrop also allege that Feuer singled out their company due to the attention they received nationwide. Nick Valente, a spokesman for the company, noted that while the City Attorney’s Office is working to shut down their marijuana delivery app, hundreds of medical delivery services continue to operate throughout the city.
Wilcox said city attorneys are conducting “ongoing investigations on medical marijuana delivery services, and we cannot comment further.”
Feuer in December contended the delivery of medical marijuana “is simply not permitted” under Proposition D, and the only exceptions are if a patient or a caregiver is transporting the medical marijuana.
Meanwhile, Nestdrop’s attorney, Arthur D. Hodge, countered at the time that the measure does not clearly prohibit the delivery of marijuana as Feuer claims.
Proposition D prohibits the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, but gives limited immunity to about 100 businesses that registered with the city by a set deadline. Hodge said the rules allowing the small pool of dispensaries do not include an explicit prohibition on delivery.
Hodge also argued that Nestdrop is a third-party company, similar to eBay, that serves as middleman for patients and dispensaries.
— City News Service