In some parts of California, access to medical marijuana is almost as easy as ordering Thai delivery on Seamless. Patients with a valid doctor’s prescription can use an app on their smartphone to have medical cannabis delivered to their door.
While it would be easy to dismiss this as just another creature comfort of today’s world, it is actually a big help for many people suffering from chronic and debilitating medical conditions.
However, the City of Los Angeles, through its board of supervisors, has decided that medical marijuana should not be dispensed via a mobile delivery service within city limits. This somewhat recent effort to crack down on these mobile delivery services has already led to the shutdown of one major mobile delivery provider for medical cannabis, and now it seems that another service will be shutting down, according to a recent news feature from the Los Angeles Times.
This service operating under the name Speed Weed, has been the subject of shutdown efforts by city prosecutors since 2014, when the city first sued the defendant. After nearly two years of medical marijuana litigation, the City of Los Angeles is finally claiming a victory, as the parties have entered into an agreement whereby the mobile delivery service will cease to operate by the end of the month within city limits. The medical cannabis mobile delivery service currently serves around 25,000 patients in the city.
The reason the city was fighting the delivery service is because officials claim that the service has been in violation of the rules of Proposition D since it first came to the area. Proposition D was passed in 2013 and made some significant changes to the original marijuana legalization laws dating back to 1996 when California became the first state in the union to legalize medical marijuana.
The effect of Proposition D that can cause problems for a mobile delivery service such as Speed Weed is that landlords can be subject to civil and criminal prosecution for allowing shops that aren’t properly registered, and there is also a prohibition against operating a medical cannabis dispensary within close proximity to schools, parks, childcare centers, and some other types of establishments. Since the marijuana is being delivered via a mobile dispensary, it is quite possible that the vehicle will be in violation of the prohibitions on being too close to any of these types of locations.
It is not only mobile dispensaries that have been closed as a result of this proximity restriction. Since the law was passed in 2013, there have been more than 700 medical marijuana dispensaries closed within city limits. The city prosecutors have also filed nearly 400 criminal cases involving over 1,500 individual and corporate defendants.
The founder of this mobile delivery service company said he feels the business is still viable and plans to franchise the operation to areas that will allow this type of service to operate. He said he put a lot of research and thought into his Los Angeles medical cannabis business venture and has looked at how large pizza delivery services and package handling businesses operate.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
L.A. city attorney shuts down second pot delivery service, May 13, 2016, LA Times, By Ben Poston
More Blog Entries:
No. 1 Marijuana Dispensary No Longer a Federal Target, May 10, 2016, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog