Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

Girl Scouts harness the munchies, find success by selling cookies outside of pot dispensaries

By Terry Tang, Associated Press

Published: Sun, Feb. 23 12:05 a.m. MST

 Justin Walker of Martinsburg, W.Va. carries cases of Girl Scout thin mint cookies from a tractor-trailer to a van during cookie arrival day Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in Winchester, Va. Some 5,505 cases of the cookies were delivered to Girl Scout leaders in the Winchester, Va. area.

Justin Walker of Martinsburg, W.Va. carries cases of Girl Scout thin mint cookies from a tractor-trailer to a van during cookie arrival day Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in Winchester, Va. Some 5,505 cases of the cookies were delivered to Girl Scout leaders in the Winchester, Va. area.

(Jeff Taylor, Associated Press)

PHOENIX — Customers of some medical marijuana dispensaries are discovering this week that they don't have to go far if they have a case of the munchies.

A few days after a teenager sold dozens of cookie boxes outside a San Francisco pot dispensary, 8-year-old Lexi Menees is returning to TruMed Dispensary in Phoenix on Saturday for the same purpose.

The girl's mother, Heidi Carney, got the idea after hearing about what happened in San Francisco.

"For me, this isn't anything controversial," Carney said. "It's medication. It's no different than standing in front of a Walgreens or a CVS."

Lexi and her parents came on Friday with between 100 and 150 boxes to sell. Her family said they sold more than 50.

"It's better than she would've gotten outside a grocery store," said Justin Menees, Lexi's father.

Susan de Queljoe, a spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, said selling in front of marijuana dispensaries isn't something the organization would encourage, but that it's up to the parents.

"The girls' safety is our primary concern. So we give guidelines out to all the parents and hope that they will follow them," de Queljoe said.

Lauren Gooding, an oncology nurse who is the president of TruMed, runs the state-licensed facility with her father and brother. Gooding said Carney called her Friday morning with the idea, and she was immediately on board. In fact, she had already received several messages on Facebook about the San Francisco sale with people suggesting she do the same thing, Gooding said.

Gooding also sent a text message to more than 2,000 customers about the cookie sale and threw in a tie-in deal: Patients who buy at least half of an ounce of pot will have their pick of a free box of Thin Mints, Samoas or any of the other cookie choices.

"People will wait to buy when there are incentives," Gooding said.

She hopes the presence of the Girl Scouts will help eliminate the stigma tied to medical marijuana dispensaries, Gooding said. Furthermore, with a security guard always on site to ensure nobody illegally consumes their pot purchase, there is no danger of Lexi or any child being exposed to marijuana, she said.

"We are not promoting medical marijuana to her," Gooding said.

Girl Scouts officials said they aren't surprised there are copycats after the story of 13-year-old San Francisco Girl Scout Danielle Lei went viral on social media and various news outlets. Lei set up a cookie table Monday outside The Green Cross, a licensed marijuana dispensary in that city's Mission district.

Kevin Reed, president of the dispensary, said Lei's mother, a secretary for a city task force on medical cannabis, approached him a couple weeks ago.

"She wanted to help break down the barriers around medical marijuana," Reed said. "I thought it was extremely sweet. So of course with open arms I said yes."

Reed said this isn't the first time Lei has sold cookies in front of other pot facilities. She did it the last two years but is just now getting attention for it, he said.

The feelings of Girl Scouts officials on the matter seem to vary state to state. Earlier this month, reports about Girl Scouts implementing the same strategy in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is now legal, turned out to be a hoax. The Girl Scouts of Colorado issued a statement on its Facebook page Friday to dispel the rumor, effectively prohibiting members from selling at a dispensary.

"We recognize these are legitimate businesses, but we don't feel they are an appropriate place for girls to be selling cookies in Colorado," the organization said.

Carney said she and her husband simply told Lexi they would try setting up in front of a facility that is similar to a pharmacy, where people go to get their medicine.

"She doesn't even know where she's at. It's more entrepreneurial," Carney said. "She's trying to go to camp this summer."

Follow Terry Tang at http://twitter.com/ttangAP

Recommended
1. Janet
Ontario, OR,
Feb. 22, 2014

It's a legal business, selling medication that's far less dangerous than oxycontin, Percocet, etc., so there should be no objection to this capitalistic venture that there wouldn't be if they were selling in front of a Walgreens or other legal drug dispensary.

2. Bruce A. Frank
San Jose, CA,
Feb. 23, 2014

Janet, long term it is not safer than those drugs and is equal in detrimental effects as tobacco. The really big problem is no easy way to tell if one is under the influence. There is also no definitive way for the user to know when it is out of their system. It tends to store in fat and can re-enter the bloodstream hours or even days after last usage.

On top of it all, regardless of what you hear, it has no medical use other than to stimulate appetite in people on chemo. It is not a pain reducer. Usually it enhances pain.

It is used recreationally‎ only to get high. Whee as most who consume alcohol do not set out to get drunk. Considerations of vintage, age, taste, and bouquet, are not part of the pot experience. With pot, the stronger stuff gets you higher faster and maybe longer, which is the object.

3. one vote
Salt Lake City, UT,
Feb. 23, 2014

It is the future.

4. TheTrueVoice
West Richland, WA,
Feb. 23, 2014

Rather brilliant strategy. No doubt some will decry her proximity to the devil's lettuce, however the fact is: her shrewd business acumen is completely legal in every way, and done in accordance to every ordnance regarding proximity. All under parental supervision.

Kudos to this young lady - awesome demonstration of the entrepreneurial spirit!

5. Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH,
Feb. 23, 2014

@Bruce A. Frank
The really big problem is no easy way to tell if one is under the influence.

My partner has a genetic soft-tissue disorder that causes both continuous pain and flares depending on activity and position. He is on relatively high doses of oxycontin with Percocet for break-through pain. The only way I know if it is out of his system is to look at the clock - I know his regular dosing schedule - or to pay attention to how much pain he is expressing.

While I would be knock-ed out for a week if I took one of his regular doses, he functions quite normally and there is no way for an outsider to know what he is taking or how much or how often.