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Pot Shots: Weed Industry Slams ‘Permit Patty’

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A local pot entrepreneur known as ‘Permit Patty’ joined ‘BBQ Becky’ in the canon of white-people-calling-cops-on-black people memes. Photo via Twitter

A local pot entrepreneur known as ‘Permit Patty’ joined ‘BBQ Becky’ in the canon of white-people-calling-cops-on-black people memes. Photo via Twitter

It’s hard to imagine a pot company pissing off millions of stoners enough to bring about its own demise, but even members of one of society’s most peaceful segments have their breaking point. Bay Area cannabis company TreatWell, which sells (sold?) CBD-infused pet wellness products and regular THC edibles, appears to have 86’d itself from the marijuana industry last weekend after its CEO called the cops on a little girl in San Francisco for selling bottled water.

Allison Ettel earned the nickname “Permit Patty,” her own hashtag and the honor of being viciously memed by internet strangers last Friday when a taped confrontation of Ettel appearing to call the police on an 8-year-old black girl selling water in front of her apartment building went viral. Ettel, who is white, has denied that she actually dialed the fuzz on the young one, who was trying to raise money for a Disneyland trip, and that she was just pretending.

But the Twitter mob wasn’t playing, and like her predecessor “BBQ Becky,” who summoned law enforcement earlier this year to Lake Merritt where a group of black people were barbecuing and minding their own business, Ettel felt its wrath. Countless users dragged Ettel as “racist,” “petty” and the “beneficiary of a broken system” that has allowed whites to prosper from legal cannabis while many people of color are shut out. Some suggested she use some of her own product to “chill TF out,” while others wondered exactly how high Ettel was to call the po-po on a little girl just trying to hydrate thirsty folks.

Ettel tried to do damage control in media interviews and pass off her behavior as “completely stress-related,” but tokers and weed shops around the state—and country—made it clear that TreatWell failed to live up to its name. Five Bay Area dispensaries pulled TreatWell items from their shelves over the weekend, including both Harborside locations in Oakland and San Jose. Leafly, one of the most popular cannabis apps on the market, may have driven the final nail in TreatWell’s coffin by dropping them from their business directory.

Buddy’s Cannabis owner Matt Lucero, who doesn’t carry TreatWell products, told Metro that dispensaries are no different than other businesses when it comes to corporate ethics.

“I do see it as a social responsibility,” Lucero said. “What she did was aggressive and inappropriate, and I certainly wouldn’t want that energy associated with our store.”

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