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Enterprising Girl Scout Sells Cookies Outside Marijuana Clinic

Thin mints, shortbreads and caramel delights. Danielle Lei, 13, sold 117 boxes outside a medical marijuana clinic in San Francisco.
Ross Hailey
Thin mints, shortbreads and caramel delights. Danielle Lei, 13, sold 117 boxes outside a medical marijuana clinic in San Francisco.

If there's a merit badge for business savvy, 13-year-old Girl Scout Danielle Lei might well deserve one.

Danielle, who set up her table of Girl Scout cookies outside The Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco earlier this week, sold a whopping 117 boxes in a single day. She appears to have tapped into a niche market fueled by the drug's well-known propensity to stimulate appetite.

According to a Facebook page for The Green Cross, Danielle had "to call for back-up Girl Scout Cookies" after 45 minutes.

Danielle's mom, Carol Lei, tells Mashable that she usually has Danielle and her sister, who is also a Girl Scout, "set up shop at various points around San Francisco so they can learn about different environments while earning some cash. Plus, she figured this might be a good way to start a conversation about drugs and how some people use marijuana as medicine while others just get high."

"They learn that they're not drugged out," Lei said, according to the East Bay Express' Legalization Nation blog, which says it reports on "California cannabis culture." "Many have serious needs, and are just a little different."

Lei told Mashable that "I'm not condoning it, I'm not saying go out in the streets and take marijuana [...] It also adds a little bit of cool factor. I can be a cool parent for a little bit."

Mashable writes:

"'Girls are selling cookies, and they and their parents pick out places where they can make good sales,' Dana Allen, director of marketing and communications for Girl Scouts of Northern California, told Mashable. 'The mom decided this was a place she was comfortable with her daughter being at.' Later, she added, 'We're not telling people where they can and can't go if it's a legitimate business.'"

"The Girl Scouts of Colorado, though, have a different opinion — even though it's a state where recreational marijuana is now legal in small quantities."

"On Feb. 9, a poorly photoshopped photo of three girl scouts standing outside a medical marijuana clinic began circulating online:"

"So my mom's friends live in Colorado and they set up a girl scout cookies stand outside of a medical marijuana store."

In response, Girl Scouts of Colorado tweeted: "If you're wondering, we don't allow our Girl Scouts to sell cookies in front of marijuana shops or liquor stores/bars."

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.