Cannabis company owner taking heat for incident with 8-year-old African-American girl selling water

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The founder of a California company that makes marijuana tinctures is under fire for hassling an 8-year-old African-American girl who was selling water to baseball fans headed to AT&T Park for the San Francisco Giants’ game on Friday.

Alison Ettel, a white woman who is the owner of TreatWell Health, was videoed by Erin Austin allegedly calling police on Austin’s daughter Jordan for selling water without a permit.

The 15-second video has gone viral and evoked other recent controversies where white people have called police on black people for what seems to be normal activities, like waiting for someone at a Starbucks or leaving an Airbnb rental.

Ettel denied her action was racially motivated, telling NBC-TV’s “Today” show she called authorities because she was bothered by the “disruption” and was seeking clarity on whether the girl could legally sell the water.

Ettel told the San Francisco Chronicle she did not call the police and instead faked contacting security at a nearby apartment complex.

Whether Ettel made a real call or an intimidating bluff, the incident has hurt her business.

At least four marijuana retailers in the Bay Area – Magnolia Oakland, SPARC (San Francisco Patient and Resource Center), The Berkley Patients Group and Barbary Coast – have said they will no longer carry TreatWell products, while Women Grow has said she is no longer welcome at their events, according to Leafly.