California: Nestdrop Medical Marijuana Delivery Service Launches GoFundMe Campaign
To help pay for its upcoming legal battle with the City of Los Angeles, medical marijuana delivery service Nestdrop has launched a GoFundMe campaign to seek donations from medicinal cannabis patients, fellow tech companies, dispensaries and supporters across the country.
After sending a letter to the City Attorney’s office offering to work with them on sensible medical marijuana enforcement -- which went unanswered -- Nestdrop has moved forward with appealing the injunction.
The City Attorney’s injunction has done absolutely nothing to stop medical marijuana deliveries in Los Angeles; a quick search online search will bring up dozens, if not hundreds, of medical marijuana delivery services that are still operating to this day in the city. Nestdrop was targeted simply for being a technology company that received national attention.
Since they are a small tech company, Nestdrop said it doesn't have the budget for a long legal fight and are seeing donations from supporters at http://www.gofundme.com/freenestdrop. Nestdrop has a goal of $70,000 and any funds raised over its final legal bill will be donated to local L.A. causes that tax payer dollars could have gone to instead of this lawsuit.
Nestdrop, which descrinbes itself as "the technology company behind the country’s first in-App, on-demand medical marijuana service," launched the GoFundMe campaign to help raise $70,000 in funds for its legal fight.
After sending an unanswered letter offering to work with L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer on providing safe access to medical marijuana, the company said it had no choice but to appeal a preliminary injunction that was restricting it from providing communication between a patient and dispensary.
“We are saddened that our vision of providing patients safe and reliable access to medical marijuana has resulted in thousands of tax payer dollars wasted by the City Attorney, but we must take a stand for what is right by law,” said Nestdrop Co-Founder Michael Pycher.
Nestdrop said it believes Prop D compliant dispensaries are granted limited immunity under the proposition and therefore have for years been allowed to continue serving Los Angeles patients with their delivery services. When Los Angles voters were asked to approve the City Council’s proposition, they were explicitly told that it exempted “licensed health care facilities and locations/vehicles during the time they are used to deliver medical marijuana to a qualified patient.”
As written, Prop D unequivocally grants limited immunity to compliant medical marijuana businesses which includes “any vehicle or other mode of transportation, stationary or mobile, which is used to transport, distribute, deliver, or give away marijuana to a qualified patient, a person with an identification card, or a primary caregiver.”
On December 23, the Los Angeles Superior Court granted the City a preliminary injunction against Nestdrop, prohibiting it from connecting medical marijuana patients to dispensaries for purposes of delivering medical marijuana. Nestdrop fervently believes the City Attorney and Superior Court based the injunction on an improper understanding of the language and intent of Los Angeles’s Proposition D, approved by voters in 2013.
Nestdrop has taken the position that Proposition D and Los Angeles voters fully anticipated legal delivery services from compliant dispensaries. The City Attorney has singled out Nestdrop, a technology company that intended to bring more transparency to the industry, for prosecution despite the fact that there are dozens of dispensaries and third party services that continue to deliver medical marijuana to this day.
Acting in good faith, Nestdrop recently sent a letter to the City Attorney’s office offering to work with them on creating more efficient regulation for the industry and to facilitate sorely needed tax revenues for the city. The letter went unanswered.
Nestdrop plans to fight for the rights of law abiding medical marijuana patients, but a lengthy legal battle can place a heavy financial burden on a small start up and it is thus asking for assistance. Medical marijuana patients, dispensaries, delivery services, advocacy groups, citizens, and those that support the industry are being called on to help not just for their own interests but for the industry as a whole.
A loss for Nestdrop will create a domino effect that can have harmful ramifications for others and will only serve to stifle legal business in Los Angeles while at the same time restrict safe and reliable access to medical marijuana.
“This case has the potential to be a massive step backward or a momentous leap forward and we are confident that if this goes the wrong way, it will have material adverse effects on everyone trying to make this a viable industry," Pycher said. "We will fight this on behalf of the medical marijuana patient community but need the support of businesses, medical marijuana patients, and supporters of personal freedoms!”
If Nestdrop is allowed to help facilitate delivery by Prop D compliant dispensaries to Los Angeles patients, it will greatly reduce the foot traffic at storefront dispensaries across the city. With a delivery model, dispensaries are able to reach more patients who may be unable to travel; then furthermore, helps diminish the crime associated with the proliferation of storefront locations.
An online storefront through Nestdrop also allows for monitored deliveries, keeps medicated patients off the roads and provides a digital stamp of each transaction.
Donations can be made at http://www.gofundme.com/freenestdrop. Supporters are also encouraged to call City Attorney Mike Feuer directly at (213) 978-8100 to ask why he’s wasting taxpayer dollars and stopping safe access to law-abiding patients.