Selling Girl Scout cookies is meant to accomplish more than just distributing Samoas and Thin Mints to the world. Ideally, the girls would learn about setting goals, teamwork, money management and communicating with adults, among other things.
If the girls can develop some business acumen, all the better. And one young scout in San Diego has received nationwide plaudits for her shrewd entrepreneurial sense, setting up shop last week outside a marijuana dispensary.
The girl, who has not been publicly identified, sold more than 300 boxes in six hours, her father told ABC 10. Boxes now sell for as much as $5 in parts of the country, so she probably raised more than $1,500. Yes, there’s money in the munchies.
While some have praised the plucky scout for figuring out where the demand would probably be, the Girl Scouts organization has been wrestling with how to handle marijuana-adjacent sales as more states have legalized the drug.
Girls who wheel carts full of cookies are generally free to travel where they please with their parents, even if that path takes them past pot shops, but there are often stricter rules around where to set up booths or stands. There are no nationwide policies related to marijuana dispensaries. Each local organization sets its own policies.
“This is kind of a community issue,” said Mike Lopes, a spokesman for the Girl Scouts of the USA. “For the most part, it’s not any different than selling in front of any other kind of shop. It just happens to be a marijuana dispensary.”
The girl in San Diego was selling her cookies outside an Urbn Leaf store, which posted a photo of her on its Instagram account. “We were definitely surprised by the controversy this created,” Will Senn, the founder of Urbn Leaf, said.
“We all love Girl Scout cookies and thought a well-intended, lighthearted post to our social media accounts would be a little way to show our support,” Senn added. “While some have come out against her efforts due to the sales being made near a cannabis dispensary, there has been an outpouring of support from the public nationwide for this young entrepreneur and her creative marketing strategies. Why wouldn’t we support a local girl’s fundraising activities?”
The San Diego scout isn’t the first girl to anticipate munchies outside a marijuana distributor. In 2014, a 13-year-old sold 117 boxes in two hours outside a medical marijuana clinic in San Francisco.
The Girl Scouts of Colorado said in 2014 it did not allow scouts to sell cookies in front of marijuana shops, liquor stores or bars. But it has since abandoned that policy, AnneMarie Harper, a spokeswoman for the Colorado organization, said in an interview Wednesday.
“Back then it was a blanket: ‘No, you may not,'” she said. “Now, it’s more of: ‘Come to us, tell us where you want to be and what you want to do,’ making sure we’re checking off all of the safety guidelines.”
When girls in the Colorado organization want to set up a booth, they are required to have the location approved first, Harper said. The organization vets locations for safety and legal issues, making sure they have permission from businesses and property management companies.
Some girls have sold near breweries, she said, but she wasn’t aware of anyone trying to stake out a spot near legal marijuana sellers.
“We really want girls to be cookie entrepreneurs, to find new and creative ways to reach customers,” she said.