Customers of some medical marijuana dispensaries are discovering they don't have to go far if they have a case of the munchies.
A few days after a Girl Scout sold 117 boxes in two hours outside a San Francisco pot dispensary, Lexi Menees headed to TruMed Dispensary in Phoenix for the same purpose.
Mom Heidi Carney got the idea after hearing about San Francisco: "For me, this isn't anything controversial. It's medication. It's no different than standing in front of a Walgreens or a CVS."
Lexi, 8, and her parents came on Friday with 100-150 boxes. 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 pot dispensaries isn't something the organization would encourage, but 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."
Lauren Gooding, an oncology nurse, is the president of TruMed and runs the state-licensed facility with her father and brother. She said Carney called her Friday morning, and she was on board immediately. In fact, she had already received several messages on Facebook about the San Francisco sale with people suggesting she do the same thing.
Gooding also sent a text to more than 2,000 customers about the cookie sale and threw in a tie-in deal: Patients who buy at least half 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," she said.
Gooding hopes the presence of the Girl Scouts will help eliminate the stigma tied to medical marijuana dispensaries. And, 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 Danielle Lei, the 13-year-old in San Francisco, went viral. Lei set up her table Feb. 17 outside the Green Cross, a licensed marijuana dispensary in the Mission district.
Kevin Reed, president of the dispensary, said Lei's mom, 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," he said. "I thought it was extremely sweet. So of course with open arms I said yes."
Green Cross, which sells a variety of pot named Girl Scout Cookie, has posted numerous items on its Facebook page referencing Lei, with one comical post featuring the Dos Equis beer "most interesting man in the world." It reads: "I don't always buy Girl Scout cookies, but when I do, I buy them from the genius outside the Green Cross pot dispensary."
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.
Contributing: Los Angeles Times