Cannabis companies will hold a fundraiser Saturday in Oakland for an eight-year-old black girl who was targeted last month in San Francisco for selling water without a city permit by cannabis entrepreneur Alison Ettel, an adult white woman whom the internet has mockingly nicknamed “Permit Patty.”
The event will take place in the same Lake Merritt park where a group of barbecuing black men were reported to police by Jennifer Schulte, another white woman dubbed “BBQ Becky” on the internet, for using a charcoal grill in a non-designated area in May.
The event’s organizers hope the funds raised will not only help Jordan Rodgers, the young girl in the “Permit Patty” video that went viral, find closure, but also “send a message that the community and industry need to be diverse, inclusive places.”
Ettel was the CEO of Treatwell Health, a cannabis tinctures company, but resigned from her position following the incident.
“For The Apothecarium, inclusion and diversity and kindness are key values,” said Eliot Dobris, a spokesperson for the Apothecarium, a cannabis dispensary that is sponsoring the event.
Shortly after the incident, the Apothecarium dropped Treatwell products from its shelves and promised to donate proceeds from remaining sales. On Saturday, the Apothecarium will also be donating $1,000 to Rodgers’ educational fund.
“We only want to work with brands that also reflect those values,” said Dobris.
The event is open to the public and will feature refreshments and live music. Galen Pallas, CEO of Kind Culture, a group purchasing organization for the cannabis industry based in Oakland, is organizing the event with Rodgers’ family and will be donating food and water.
Pallas said that Rodgers will receive “100 percent of the proceeds from her sales,” along with $8,000 in donations already committed from a handful of local cannabis companies, including The Apothecarium and Magnolia.
“We recognize that our jails are filled with black and brown bodies who are put there for selling the exact same plant that we now in the industry sell in the open, legally with impunity,” he said. “We feel a responsibility to the community we live and do business in to encourage young children from all backgrounds to be entrepreneurs and self sufficient.”
Pallas, who grew up in Oakland, said that he hopes that local community members will join to help “take back our park.” Alcohol will not be served, said Pallas, because “we’d need a permit for that.”
The event will be held Saturday, July 13, from noon-4 pm at Lake Merritt Park at The Pergola.