After Facing Backlash, #PermitPatty Resigns As CEO Of Her Company

In a video, a woman can be heard apparently telling the cops that a black girl was “illegally selling water without a permit” on her phone.

UPDATE: "Permit Patty" lost support for her business after showing the world what a hypocrite she is. Now, she has actually lost her business after being forced to step down as the CEO of her own company amid the backlash.

Following a horrific incident involving Alison Ettel, or "Permit Patty," in which Ettel called police on a black girl selling water without a permit, several companies stopped doing business with TreatWell, her cannabis product provider. Now, the company's spokesperson has announced that Ettel is no more, as she was forced to resign from her position.

In a statement, spokeswoman Cynthia Gonzalez said that TreatWell puts patients first. Therefore, ending Ettel’s tenure as the company’s CEO was an important step forward.

"This decision, while not an easy one, is in the best interest of their patients," Gonzalez said. "It is Ms. Ettel’s belief that TreatWell, its employees, and patients should not have to suffer because of a situation that occurred in an escalated moment. And she regrets her part and is remorseful."

Ettel actually sold cannabis without a permit until last year.

While it’s comforting to know that public pressure made Ettel finally admit she was in the wrong, it’s also heartbreaking to know people like her continue to try to punish people taking part in normal activities, whether it’s a black man barbecuing at a park or a young black girl selling water to raise money to go to Disneyland.

It’s time society understands that calling the police on people of color just because you do not like what they are doing is unacceptable. Doing so is harmful to minority communities and, as evidenced by Ettel's fate, it's also harmful to the person who makes the call. 

A white woman who called police over a black girl selling water bottles on the street without a permit is a hypocrite, as she herself sold cannabis products without having a permit up until last year.

Journalist Shaun King tweeted on Monday morning that he had received information from a former employee of Alison Ettel, the woman who is known across the internet as #PermitPatty following her attempts to get police to shut down a black child’s water bottle business. According to the source who spoke to King, Ettel collected more than $1 million in payments from her cannabis company, and the two often joked they were “illegal drug dealers” while doing so.

Ettel runs a company called TreatWell Health, a cannabis business that specializes in products for pets. And indeed, back in 2015, Ettel admitted to the San Francisco Gate that her company wasn't technically legit at the time.

"It's kind of like 'don't ask, don't tell,'" Ettel said, adding that the business back then "[hadn't] gotten any pushback yet.”

Ettel was perfectly happy to "push back" against a black child selling water this past week, however, and now her own business may suffer as a result. After she went viral for unnecessarily calling police on the 8-year-old, other businesses working with her decided they would end their relationships with Ettel in response.

Magnolia Wellness announced it was ending their ties with "Permit Patty" in an Instagram post.

“As of today, Magnolia will no longer be carrying Treatwell Tinctures,” the post read. “After seeing this video of their CEO, calling the police on an 8-year-old entrepreneur selling water on a hot day, we decided without hesitation that we could no longer patronize her company.”


As of today, Magnolia will no longer be carrying Treatwell Tinctures. After seeing this video of their CEO, calling the police on an 8-year-old entrepreneur selling water on a hot day, we decided without hesitation that we could no longer patronize her company. To our amazing patients who use the Treatwell products, please know we are working to ensure we can bring on some new amazing and ethical brands. Treatwell was one of our best-selling products but to us, integrity is always before profits. For our remaining inventory, we are doing blow-out deals and donating all proceeds to a local non-profit. We would love to donate to an organization that provides opportunities to young women of color interested in becoming entrepreneurs. If you have any suggestions on non-profits for us to donate to or licensed and compliant tincture companies, please tag them below. #cannabiscommunity #integrityovereverything #magnoliaoakland

A post shared by Magnolia Oakland (@magoaksocial) on

Another company called Distill also explained it was ending its partnership with Ettel.

Get Leashed Magazine, which ran a profile piece on Ettel in 2017, also announced it would be removing that article from its website in response to her racism.

"Get Leashed condemns the disturbing behavior in this video. We have decided to replace the contents of our original article with this statement of support for the entrepreneurial spirit of an 8-year-old girl who had the foresight and wisdom to sell water on a hot day," their statement read.

Ettel’s hypocrisy is blatant and likely based on racist feelings she may hold against people of color. Even though she now claims she faked the phone call, doing so was still an attempt to scare the black girl into stopping selling water bottles.

One has to wonder, however, whether Ettel would have called the police on an 8-year-old white girl who was selling lemonade on the street. That she previously sold products herself without a permit and thought nothing of it is evidence enough of her double-standard.

The trend of white people calling police on people of color for simply existing around their neighborhoods is abhorrent and racist. These individuals deserve to go viral for their transgressions and to suffer financially for displaying such bigoted viewpoints.

A white woman has been accused of calling the police on an 8-year-old girl of color for, well, selling water without a permit on a sidewalk in San Francisco.

In a video uploaded by the girl’s mother, the camera follows a woman, HuffPost has identified as Alison Ettel. Ettel was on the phone and crouched behind a wall to avoid the camera and can be heard saying “illegally selling water without a permit” on her phone.

“On my property,” the girl’s mother yelled.

“Not on your property,” Ettel retorted.

The girl’s mother said that the enterprising young woman had decided to sell water in front of their apartment building near AT&T Park, where the Giants had a home game that evening.

Later, a woman claiming to be the girl’s cousin also uploaded the video on Twitter, dubbing the white complainant “Permit Patty.”  She later said that the child’s mother intends to press charges of harassment against Ettel.


In her defense, Ettel told HuffPost that the girl’s race had nothing to do with the phone call she had only “pretended” to make. Ettel also claimed that she had no issues with the girl selling water but was severely annoyed at the mother-daughter duo “screaming about what they were selling.” The ruckus had reached her through her open office window above the sidewalk.

“It was literally nonstop. It was every two seconds, ‘Come and buy my water.’ It was continuous and it wasn’t a soft voice, it was screaming,” she told HuffPost.

“Permit Patty” comes at the heals of “Barbecue Becky” and “Jogger Joe,” white people derided on the Internet for calling the police on non-white or impoverished folk. It wasn’t so much their propensity for calling the police over trivial matters that angered people but their eagerness at throwing vulnerable people under the bus.

The police, as it has repeatedly demonstrated, is especially prone to punishing people of color over the pettiest matters, sometimes shooting them fatally merely over suspicions. White people play into this dangerous scheme of things, prioritizing their comfort over the lives of people of color.


Banner / Thumbnail : Pixabay / Michael-T

View Comments

Recommended For You