Police in Overton, Texas, insisted they were just doing their job when they forced a lemonade stand set up by two young sisters to close.
The officers said the girls would have to pay $150 to obtain a permit before they could sell their goods.
“I think that’s ridiculous,” the girls' mother, Sandi Evans, told KLTV. “I think they’re 7 and 8 and they’re just trying to make money for their own cause.”
Police said that under the so-called Texas Baker’s Bill, or House Bill 970, the sale of food requiring time or temperature controls to avoid spoilage is allowed only with a permit. Since lemonade needs refrigeration to prevent bacteria from growing, police said the girls would need to get not only a permit but also an inspection.
“It is a lemonade stand, but they also have a permit that they are required to get,” local police chief Clyde Carter said.
“We have to follow by the state health guidelines,” he added. "They have to have a permit if they're going to do the lemonade stands."
The two sisters, Andrea and Zoey, had been selling lemonade for about an hour and had made over $25 when the police came. They were planning ahead for Father's Day.
“We were trying to raise some money to take our dad to Splash Kingdom,” Andrea said.
“We had kettle corn and lemonade,” Zoey said. "The lemonade was for 50 cents, and the kettle corn was a dollar. But if you got both, it was a dollar."
The sisters plan to get around the law by setting up their stand again this weekend and offering lemonade for free, accepting only donations.