City Attorney Halts SpeedWeed Operations in L.A., but is the Delivery Service Done?Ben AdlinMay 14, 2016
As part of an ongoing effort to eradicate medical cannabis delivery services, the city of Los Angeles on Friday announced it has secured the closure of one of the region’s largest operators, SpeedWeed.
According to a press release issued by City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office, the company and its officers have entered into a judicially enforced agreement to shutter their operations on June 6.
But while Feuer’s presser talks of “the shutdown of SpeedWeed,” it’s not clear the setback to the company is so sweeping. Court documents suggest it will cease operations only within Los Angeles city limits — just one piece of its broader Southern California territory. SpeedWeed claims to serve more than 25,000 customers across Los Angeles and Orange counties.
The city’s success in curbing SpeedWeed’s local operations, however, has other delivery services nervous. In February, Feuer announced his intention to root out and close the businesses, which the city maintains are illegal under Proposition D, a controversial local zoning measure adopted in 2013 to limit the number of dispensaries in the city.
SpeedWeed is the second delivery service to formally halt its L.A. operations in response to Feuer’s crackdown. In March another delivery company, Nestdrop, failed to overturn a lower court’s ruling that barred it from operating in the city. A handful of other services have received letters from city officials warning them to close.
"This is another successful step in our sustained effort to uphold the voters' will under Proposition D," Feuer said in a statement Friday.
Delivery services nationwide have boomed in recent years, nearly tripling between 2012 and 2015, according to California Lawyer magazine. In Southern California, where many cities have used zoning laws to ban storefront dispensaries, some dispensaries have reopened as delivery services in an effort to skirt enforcement.
SpeedWeed was founded in 2011 by A.J. Gentile, according to the L.A. Times, which notes that 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.”
A person who answered SpeedWeed’s main phone line on Friday declined to comment for this story. A call to Jenna Schuck, chief operating officer of Aquarius Cannabis, which announced last month that it had agreed to buy SpeedWeed, wasn’t immediately returned.