'#PermitPatty' resigns from cannabis company after social media backlash

The CEO of a San Francisco marijuana company resigned Tuesday after she was seen in a viral video appearing to call police on an 8-year-old African-American girl who was selling bottles of water.

Alison Ettel, founder of TreatWell Health, ignited a wave of backlash after the girl’s mother posted footage of Ettel on her Instagram account, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Ettel told the Chronicle that the young girl had been making noise outside her apartment hours before. She said she approached the girl about a permit before the girl’s mother intervened.

An argument ensued before Ettel got out her phone and pretended to call the police.

The girl’s mother began recording Ettel.

“This woman don’t want to let a little girl sell some water. She be calling police on an 8-year-old little girl,” the mother says in the video.  

The mother posted the video online requesting that viewers make “#permitpatty” go viral. By Sunday, the moniker stuck.

Multiple social media users accused Ettel of being a racist and dispensaries in San Francisco removed her company’s products from their shelves.

According to TreatWell Health’s website, the company specializes in cannabis products for both people and pets.

A company spokeswoman said Ettel left the company so that its employees and patients don’t bear the fallout of media scrutiny.

On Tuesday, the girl's mother set up a GoFundMe page called “The Water Stand Project,” which she says is to help her daughter go to college and create resources for underprivileged kids in the San Francisco area needing help with educational costs.

“(L)et’s help kids in San Francisco avoid any future #PermitPatty,” the mother writes on the page.


Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.