By Cara Anderson
Permit Patty, also known as Alison Ettel, has resigned from her position as CEO of TreatWell.
Ettel went viral this week when a video of her calling the cops on an 8-year-old girl hit the internet. If you missed it, Ettel called the cops because the child, Jordan, was selling water bottles without a license. Ettel, who is white, claims that race was not a motivation for her calling the police on the black child.
Okay. Let’s pretend for a second that we live in a country where black people are not disproportionately targeted, as well as brutalized, by police. Let’s pretend that white people don’t call the cops on black people for doing things like napping, barbequing, or golfing “loudly.” Even then, would it make sense that a (now former) member of a women-led business empowerment organization, and (now former) CEO herself, would dial 9-1-1 on an eight-year-old girl for selling $2 water bottles?
A statement from TreatWell spokesperson, Cynthia Gonzalez read, “We are aware of the tumultuous tide of racism in this country and agree that its very existence has no place anywhere, especially in the Cannabis industry. Rather, we respect all family values, virtues and religious beliefs, lifestyles and we are supportive of all. And as a company we refute all notions of prejudice. Our sole focus, as a company is to enrich, heal, and preserve the 1000’s of lives of those patients in need. We do not seek forgiveness for the act, rather we accept the fact that a very poor decision was made. We respect all people of color, race, creed, ethnic diversity and we are a zero tolerance, all-inclusive compliant business.”
Women Grow, who Ettel was formerly associated with, extended an olive branch and awarded Jordan a grant to cover the cost of a business permit and license. The organization received a slew of comments urging them to denounce Ettel’s actions, and this week @womengrow posted a third statement about the events:
The organization has deleted their previous statements and removed Ettel’s bio from their website. While that placated some, many Instagram users commented on the organization’s lack of transparency and failure to denounce Ettel’s actions from the jump.
Other organizations and businesses have made it clear that they hold no allegiance to TreatWell, the company that Ettel founded. Dispensaries who have dropped TreatWell products include Harborside, Magnolia Oak Wellness, Barbary Coast, Hi Fidelity, Harvest on Mission, Harvest on Geary, Berkeley Patients Group, SPARC, and Solful. Leafly removed TreatWell’s brand page, and New West Summit issued a statement that they will not be working with Ettel or TreatWell. Filmmakers of Lady Buds: Women Elevating the Cannabis Industry have cut ties with Ettel.
If you’re looking for a way to support the water-bottle-selling entrepreneur, Jordan’s mother created a GoFundMe to raise money for her daughter’s future college tuition.
If you still have a problem understanding why Ettel was called racist, please read, “White people keep calling the cops on black people for no reason. That’s dangerous.”