SAN DIEGO: A Girl Scout in San Diego sold out her entire stash of Girl Scout cookies in less than 6 hours when she and her father set up near the front of the Urbn Leaf pot shop in San Diego the weekend before last.
The identity of the young Girl Scout is unknown. A Girl Scouts’ San Diego spokesperson told The San Diego Union-Tribune that there is currently no investigation but that if they ever find out the girl's identity, they would discuss possible consequences for breaking the Girl Scout organization's rules for where she was selling the cookies.
Director of communications for the Girl Scouts San Diego Maryl Doyle said that the rules do not permit Girl Scouts to set up outside of commercial retail spaces without permission from the owner, which the girl and her father did have from the owner of Urbn Leaf. The business must also be on an approved list. Doyle said that Urbn Leaf was not on the approved list for setting up Girl Scout's booths. The young girl reportedly did not set up a booth but used a rolling cart. Rolling carts or walkabouts are permitted in residential areas to sell Girl Scout cookies by the organization.
Doyle also said that they were unsure how to handle the situation, saying "It's not a cut and dry situation when we don't know who the girl is, and we don't know what the situation is," she told reporters. She added that the rules are to protect Girl Scouts from getting tickets for solicitation.
Urbn Leaf’s Thoughts
Urbn Leaf was in support of the girl selling her cookies outside of the dispensary and even helped the Girl Scout by using social media. The owner of Urbn Leaf, Will Senn posted a photo on the store's Instagram page with a message saying, "Get Some Girl Scout Cookies with your GSC today until 4 pm!" Senn said that he was surprised by how much national attention the story has gotten.
Mr. Senn told the New York Times that he loved the Girl Scouts organization and supported the young entrepreneur's creativity. He added, "Why wouldn't we support a local girl's fund-raising activities?" With boxes of Girl Scout cookies averaging $5 per box, the girl sold an estimated $1500 worth of cookies.
Doyle said that around 14,000 girls sell Girl Scout cookies nationwide and that the organization assume that the girls in the program have good intentions, adding that if they identify the young Girl Scout in question and discover that she has repeatedly broken the rules, she could be in violation and it would be a private matter between the organization and the family. Doyle did not elaborate on what kind of punishment would be appropriate once the girl is identified.
A similar controversy was sparked in 2014 when a Girl Scout sold 117 boxes of cookies outside of a San Francisco dispensary for medical marijuana in less than two hours. The story went viral as well, which prompted the organization to debate the issue and adjust the rules. The Girl Scouts do not have a single policy regarding where the girls can sell cookies and allow regional chapters to decide local guidelines, with Mike Lopes from the Girl Scouts USA saying that where the cookies are sold is a community issue.
The Girl Scouts of Colorado spokesperson Anne-Marie Harper said that they have changed their policy which previously did not permit sales near bars, marijuana dispensaries or liquor stores. She said that instead, they require families to check with them so that they can take care of any legalities or safety concerns first. They also want to request permission from the location's owner.
The Girl Scouts will be selling their cookies until this April nationwide.