The Girl Scouts can’t seem to get their story straight. Urbn Leaf, a medical and recreational dispensary in San Diego, posted a photo on Instagram on Feb. 2 of an industrious Girl Scout posing with an armful of cookie boxes outside its shop at 1028 Buenos Ave. “Get some Girl Scout Cookies with your GSC today until 4pm!” read the caption, encouraging customers to bring their friends.
The move was a smart one: The nine-year-old sold more than 300 boxes of cookies in a mere six hours outside the dispensary.
But it also set off controversy when some raised concerns about the photograph. Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts themselves offered contradicting comments to the media.
Mary Doyle, a spokesperson for Girl Scouts San Diego, said the organization is investigating whether the girl broke any rules, adding that selling cookies in a commercial area is not permitted and officials were trying to talk to the girl’s family.
But Alison Bushan, also from Girl Scouts San Diego, acknowledged that Scouts are allowed to sell cookies in those areas if they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian, as long as they don’t set up a booth. “If that’s what they say they were doing,” she said, “then they were right within the rules.”
Bushan told KTNV-TV in the clip below: “There are many ways girls are being great entrepreneurs.”
The strategy seems to be a successful one. In 2014, a Girl Scout in San Francisco sold 117 boxes of cookies in two hours outside a medical-marijuana dispensary. The same girl went back in 2015 and sold more than 200 boxes. The tactic has also been used by a Scout in Portland, Ore., who decorated her table with a large sign that read: “Satisfy Your Munchies.”
But perhaps an even more potent reason is the popular “Girl Scout Cookies” strain, which comes in several phenotypes, including one known as “Thin Mint.” Girl Scouts USA has sent cease-and-desist letters to several dispensaries that sell the strain. Since those legal threats, it’s generally been renamed “GSC” or “Platinum Cookies.”
Since the story broke, the unidentified San Diego Scout has been the subject of late-night TV jokes and Twitter praise, applauding her creativity and marketing savvy. Jimmy Kimmel hailed her as the “2018 nominee for Girl Scout Salesperson of the Year” and joked that the “only rules they should be checking into is whether she’s old enough to be president of the Girl Scouts.”
While Girl Scouts USA may not approve of its namesake strain, the young Scouts know a good opportunity when they see one.
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