EDMONTON — She's being called one smart cookie.
As people lined up to buy cannabis at one of six Edmonton cannabis stores that opened Wednesday a small entrepreneur stood ready to capitalize on what could be expected to be customers' future need for a sweet snack.
Nine-year-old Elina Childs had a wagon full of Girl Guide cookies for sale.
"My dad asked me if I wanted to sell cookies and I said yes," she said in an interview after school Thursday. "So we started selling cookies there and they sold out very quickly."
Her father, Seann Childs, said they sold cookies going door to door in their neighbourhood last year, but people often weren't home or there would be big dogs in the yards.
"We thought, 'Where can we go to sell them?'" he said. "It just so happens that legalization was coming up in a couple of days."
When Elina got home from school Wednesday, she grabbed some change from her piggy bank. She and her dad loaded up a wagon with three cases of Girl Guide cookies and they walked a few blocks to the nearby cannabis store.
She started walking up and down the lineup.
"It was well received," said Seann Childs.
Elina said people told her "it was a smart idea and that they'd like to buy some cookies."
Her dad said some cars even stopped on the street to buy a box.
"It was really something else," he said. "I'd never seen anything quite like that."
Childs said he expected it to go well, but he never thought she would sell out of all the cookies they had left in the three cases — about 30 boxes — in 45 minutes.
"We were sold out in no time," he said.
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An official with the Girl Guides praised Elina's strategy.
"Good on her and her family for thinking of it," said Edmonton commissioner Heather Monahan. "It's fun and it's different and what better way to get rid of cookies."
A teaching moment
A social media post on Elina outside the pot store went viral and Monahan said they started getting questions from other parents about whether it was allowed.
"Why wouldn't it be?" she said. "It wasn't like she was in the store — that would be a whole different ball game.
"I think it's wonderful."
To make it even better, Elina's parents were able to use the experience as a teaching moment for their daughter.
"She actually has cystic fibrosis, so we encourage her to get out there and do things and be active," Childs said. "Girl Guides is one part of that."
He noted that smoking is usually harmful to her.
"This was one day she could benefit from smoking," said Childs. "We saw that as an opportunity to get out there and teach her a little about what cannabis is.
"Obviously she's not going to be using it before she's 18, I hope, but we like to have frank discussions with her, so she understands what it is and take away that mystery behind it — just to show her people of all ages and all walks of life are doing this and it's legal in Canada now, just demystify it for her so it's not a big deal for her."