Entrepreneuring Girl Scouts target marijuana dispensaries for cookie stands
CHICAGO — With boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas stacked above their heads, a group of Girl Scouts set up shop outside Dispensary 33 on Sunday, selling cookies to passersby and customers of the recreational marijuana store.
The girls – or their parents – weren’t the first to sell cookies to people buying weed. Girl Scouts in California have set up outside dispensaries and Colorado’s Girl Scouts recently lifted a ban on selling in front of marijuana shops.
But the timing of Girl Scout Cookie season worked in the young entrepreneurs’ favor this year in Chicago. Legal weed went on sale in Illinois Jan. 1, and long lines continue to form outside weed shops.
Dispensary 33 in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood serves more than 500 people a day, said general manager Paul Lee. Many of the people Dispensary 33 serves bring cash and are looking for a snack to accompany their purchase, he said.
The girls, ages 6 and 7, sold about 230 boxes of cookies Sunday, said one of the Brownie troop leaders, Melissa Soukup.
“It was a decent sale,” said Soukup, the mom of one of the girls. But it did not surpass the 450 boxes they sold one day last year in front of a Mariano’s.
The Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana lets the scouts pick where they want to set up tables to sell, as long as it’s in front of a legally owned and operated business, said public relations manager Britney Bouie. Table sales of the $5 boxes of cookies started Saturday.
“Our girls sell from everywhere – outside of movie theaters, grocery stores,” Bouie said. “And now if they’re selling outside of legal and aboveboard dispensaries, that is A-OK.”
Dispensary 33 is set to have other troops sell cookies, too, said dispensary marketing manager Abigail Watkins.
Watkins noted an irony inside the dispensary. There’s a popular strain of marijuana that originated on the West Coast originally called Girl Scout Cookies. Dispensary 33 had two products linked to that strain in stock on Sunday. They sold out.
“Maybe that was because of the Girl Scouts,” Watkins said.