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California Appeals Court Puts The Kibosh On Medical Marijuana Delivery App

Californians who were hoping to summon medical marijuana to their homes with the tap of a smartphone app will have to find anther way to get their pot, after an appeals court upheld an injunction against a weed delivery app called NestDrop. [More]

Ryan Glenn

California Could Be Second State To Raise Minimum Smoking Age To 21

Just days after the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted to increase the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, the state’s Assembly passed a package of tobacco bills, including a measure that would raise the state smoking age to 21 and ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places where traditional smoking is prohibited.  [More]

A deli with no meats. (Nicholas Eckhart)

Here’s A Look Inside The Last Days Of Some Closing Walmarts

We expect that Walmart stores are crammed full of merchandise and people, and they look wrong when they no longer have either. Walmart recently completed a round of store closings, including the entire Walmart Express chain. Naturally, some of our readers were there, and brought their cameras.

[More]

Mark Clifton

Sears Hometown Opens Stores Within Other Stores

Sears and JCPenney are two department stores with more space than they need and a need to get more people in the door. They’ve started opening stores within stores, or subdividing their space and leasing part of it to other retailers. Now a member of the Sears family that has gone off on its own is trying this strategy to get a retail foothold: Sears Hometown is opening a store in an Ace Hardware. [More]

(Gilbert Mercier)

Water-Conservation Rebate Recipients Surprised To Learn Rebates Are Taxable

During a water crisis in California, the state and local governments ran a program for residents, offering rebates to people who replaced their lawns and landscaping with plants that can survive drought conditions and don’t require constant watering. Now people who received rebates are getting a surprise in the mail: they’ve received letters saying that they have to pay federal taxes on that money. [More]

Lyft Will Pay California Drivers Total Of $12.25M, Still Won’t Call Them Employees

Lyft Will Pay California Drivers Total Of $12.25M, Still Won’t Call Them Employees

The companies operating the two largest ride-hailing fleets, Uber and Lyft, both have lawsuits against them in California where drivers seek “employee” status. The lawsuit against Lyft has been settled, but only one part of it: the company has agreed not to terminate drivers without giving them a reason why, but will not grant them minimum wage, overtime pay, vehicle expense reimbursement, or any other benefits that they would get as employees. [More]

Uber To Pay $7.6M To California In Order To Keep Drivers On The Road

Uber To Pay $7.6M To California In Order To Keep Drivers On The Road

Uber must pay a $7.6 million fine in order to keep its drivers on the road in California after the state’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted on Thursday to approve a judge’s months-old recommendation that found the ride-sharing company failed to meet data reporting requirements.  [More]

Grand Jury Subpoenas Chipotle Over California Norovirus Outbreak

Grand Jury Subpoenas Chipotle Over California Norovirus Outbreak

A grand jury is investigating the circumstances surrounding a norovirus outbreak at Chipotle. Not the recent one in Boston that sickened more than 150 people, but the August outbreak in California that left more than 100 employees and customers ill. [More]

Domino’s Driver Stabs Customer For Complaining About Pizza Being 90 Minutes Late

Domino’s Driver Stabs Customer For Complaining About Pizza Being 90 Minutes Late

Remember when Domino’s Pizza used to guarantee that you’d get your order in 30 minutes? The company stopped that promotion because some drivers were putting lives at risk with their dangerous driving. But it looks like delivering a pizza 90 minutes late can be just as harmful. [More]

Uber Sends Drivers New Contract That Includes Opting Out Of Any Current Class Actions

Uber Sends Drivers New Contract That Includes Opting Out Of Any Current Class Actions

Was Uber trying to deliberately trick its drivers when it sent out a new driver agreement, or just trying to make its contract provisions clearer? While the company’s attorneys claim that the new driver contract wouldn’t actually preclude drivers still working for them from taking part in the California lawsuit or other lawsuits against them, the attorney for the affected drivers disagrees. [More]

California DMV: Self-Driving Cars Must Have A Licensed Driver Behind The Wheel

California DMV: Self-Driving Cars Must Have A Licensed Driver Behind The Wheel

While California’s highways and byways are filling up with self-driving prototypes right now, the state Department of Motor Vehicles is laying down some rules of the road that, if finalized, will mean it could take longer for the public to get their hands on driverless cars. [More]

Comcast Hit With $26M Penalty For Dumping Hazardous Waste AND Revealing Personal Customer Info

Comcast Hit With $26M Penalty For Dumping Hazardous Waste AND Revealing Personal Customer Info

Wow. Just wow. It takes a truly awful company to dump hazardous waste. It takes an equally bad business to reveal private customer info. But it takes a Kabletown to do both at the same time. [More]

Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

For the third time in five years, the U.S. Supreme Court had a chance to reverse a terrifying trend in consumer rights by doing something, anything, to rein in “forced arbitration” clauses that strip consumers of their legal rights and effectively give companies a license to steal. And for the third time in five years, the SCOTUS majority showed its interests lie in protecting the coffers of big business rather than Americans’ access to the legal system. [More]

Federal Judge Rules That California Uber Drivers Can Sue For Vehicle And Phone Expenses

Federal Judge Rules That California Uber Drivers Can Sue For Vehicle And Phone Expenses

There’s a fairly low barrier to entry if you want to work as a driver for Uber or similar ride-hailing apps: you need to be over 21, have a safe driving record, and have a car that meets the company’s criteria. Then the company sends you work through their app, an arrangement that a current class action lawsuit says makes drivers employees of the service, entitled to reimbursement of their car and phone expenses. Now a federal district judge in California has ruled that the workers are entitled to have Uber cover their vehicle and smartphone expenses. [More]

Bill To Ban The Use of Microbeads In Personal Care Products Nationwide By 2019 Passes House

Bill To Ban The Use of Microbeads In Personal Care Products Nationwide By 2019 Passes House

With several states and companies passing or currently considering rules to stop the use of tiny microbeads in beauty products, the nation as a whole has been playing catchup. After at least one failed attempt to pass a measure to keep the microscopic plastic spheres from going down the drain and possibly into the stomachs of our seafood, the House passed legislation this week that would ban the use of the products.  [More]

California Taco Bell Offers Valet Parking For Customers

California Taco Bell Offers Valet Parking For Customers

Taco Bell has made its name selling high-cal, low-price junk food (note: that’s not an insult), but one California Bell is classing things up — at least temporarily — by offering a valet parking service to customers. [More]

San Francisco Sues American Express, Alleging Illegal Restraints On Merchants

San Francisco Sues American Express, Alleging Illegal Restraints On Merchants

Original Taco Bell Building Saved From Demolition, Will Be Moved To Taco Bell HQ

Original Taco Bell Building Saved From Demolition, Will Be Moved To Taco Bell HQ

After facing demolition for nearly a year, the Downey, CA, building where Taco Bell got its modest start will live to see another day. It’ll just see it from a different location: the fast food restaurant’s corporate headquarters in Irvine.  [More]