Company Name: Kannaway
What Is It
An MLM company promoting hemp oil products.
Kannaway is promoted as a unique MLM and in terms of product selection it certainly is. The company focuses on hemp oil and the potential health benefits of the oil. However, the amount of evidence out there is very limited and the products you promote are very expensive. Combined with a complicated compensation plan and monthly costs, making money with Kannaway is not something I recommend.
As a matter of fact, the “miracle product” thing is quite common in this industry. There are similar companies that focus on Aloe Vera, essential oils, gandoderma, mushrooms, coffee, coconut oil and other common products supposedly enhanced or ‘better' with crazy health claims NOT founded in science.
The emphasis of Kannaway is on hemp and its history, and the company promotes the concept of a hemp lifestyle. The product line reflects this, and contains a range of products that use hemp in some way. This includes a range of facial products, food square chews (kind of like fruit chews) and vaporizer pens.
Hemp is an awesome product. You can eat it (seeds), and you can make stuff from it like clothes, insulation, or even biofuel. It's actually illegal to grow in the US, but you can import it as long as it doesn't have any THC.
The first thing about this company is that the products are focused on health benefits and don’t have hallucinogenic properties. The way that hemp oil and hemp products are labelled often makes users think that they can get high from them, but this isn’t the case. Kannaway does mention this on its site as well, but based on the website, many people would probably assume that the products offer more than health benefits.
A great example is the photo above. Why would you want to smoke hemp if you can't get high? Green vape smoke heavily implies (in my mind) that it's similar to smoking pot.
The products of the company specifically focus on a compound known as CBD, which is found in both hemp and marijuana. This compound isn’t hallucinogenic, but the argument is that it produces health benefits.
There is some evidence that CBD oil does work, but the evidence isn’t nearly as strong as Kannaway would like you to believe. Instead, most studies on the topic have been in animals and it isn’t clear how these apply to humans. Yes, there are plenty of people that swear on CBD oil, and that's fine. I understand that it works in some ways, for some people. However, the issue with this company, as with many health and wellness network marketing companies, is that they rely on distributors who are unqualified to make any kind of medical diagnosis or even evaluate their own results properly.
Your buddy might rub CBD oil on his knee and tell you how great it feels. But if the pain relief is not tested properly, i.e. scientifically proven, the “relief” could be due to a number of things. It could be the action of rubbing the knee, or the mental exercise of trying to feel better, or an unintentional change in diet, or even (gasp), a desire for it to work since the person using it is also selling it.
Does it work or not? You'll have to pay quite a lot to find out for yourself.
Just like your favorite fruit chew, but better…in a mysterious way! Haha. Also, I'm quite sure they chose “kick” because it sounds like you get “boost” or “bump”, which can be interpreted as ambiguous drug slang meaning getting high.
Companies like this make a lot of money because the customers don’t really know whether it works or not. If you have one of the chews or use the vaporizer, you would probably attribute any positive feelings to that. After all, people can convince themselves that sugar pills kill pain, with surprising effectiveness.
Additionally, most of the health benefits that CBD is supposed to offer would be challenging to actually observe (like decreased risk of cancer and reductions in inflammation). Essentially, you could take the products consistently and never know whether they work. This is my main gripe with products like CBD oil – so many of the miracle stories are anecdotal.
As always, the company puts a lot of emphasis on the lifestyle and opportunity that it offers.
Distributors for the company are called Independent Business Owners, or Brand Ambassadors, even though you don’t actually end up owning a business (you are essentially a sales rep). You also have to pay monthly (at $29.99 per month) to be able to earn money. In fact, the company has three key requirements:
Users do get a few different things for this money including training and websites. However, it isn’t clear whether this training is actually any good. Having a website to sell from can be useful, but it will be a duplicate of other people’s sites, so you probably won’t be able to rank for it. Does the training show you how to create content and attract visitors to your site? That much is unclear!
The personal volume that you need to meet each week is 55 BV (BV stands for Business Volume). That number isn’t particularly useful on its own, because it doesn’t tell you how much you are going to be spending. In fact, that information seems to only be available if you sign up for the company.
That is a really manipulative practice – because it hides how much you need to spend each month.
The basic concept of the commission plan is that you earn money by selling products. But, of course, it would never be that simple.
The compensation plan for Kannaway gets complicated quickly and there are multiple different levels, bonuses, schemes and factors to consider.
To start off with, the company uses a MLM structure. This means that you earn money for recruiting other people. The company tries to make it sound like this isn’t the case with the following claim.
All this means is that distributors don’t earn money from the membership fee of people they recruit. But… they do earn money from the sales people they recruit make.
How much money depends on their own rank, the rank of the people they recruit, how much product is being sold, the legs of the distributor’s business, the matching bonuses in place, the team override bonus, the differential infinity bonus and many other aspects.
Does that sound complicated yet?
I got lost about half way through the compensation plan, and I have read a lot of compensation plans for MLMs. In reality, the plan is too complicated for most members to be able to understand it, let alone follow it.
Making Sales VS Making Salesmen
With any MLM, there are two main ways of making money. These are to sell products and recruit others.
To sell products, you have to convince people that the products are worth the cost. Most of the company’s products are expensive and there is only anecdotal evidence of their benefits. So, the main types of people you will be able to sell to are: people with lots of money, people who are easily convinced, and people who are already passionate about hemp.
If you are passionate about CBD oil, as many of the commenters on this post are, that's fine! You are perfectly OK to sell products from this company as long as you believe in them. But just realize that you are not an “independent business owner” (IBO). You are a salesperson for a company. Don't fall into the idea that you are running your own business, because if Kannaway decides they don't like your selling methods, or if Kannaway has any issues down the road, your business could crumble over night.
I think it's much smarter to build a website about your passion for CBD oil, and feature Kannaway products as one of many possible products to buy. That way you truly own your business, and you aren't reliant on one specific product to make money.
Recruitment for network marketing companies is even more difficult. You have to convince people to put money into the company every month. To make money from them, they also have to be effective at selling the product. Most of the people that join the company probably won’t be very effective at sales – after all, it isn’t an easy task. Relying on other people to be motivated is one of the most annoying things about network marketing in my opinion.
Trying to directly sell products is challenging at the best of times, this is so much more difficult when you are dealing with products like those from Kannaway based on what I've shown above.
Kannaway also saddles you with a monthly sales fee and required purchasing volume. This means that you have to make at least that much every single month just to break even. I'm not so hot on this opportunity.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
The MLM business model is great for the company and horrible for distributors. Companies recruit far too many people and place them in a convoluted commission scheme. While some distributors may earn money, the vast majority of them will not.
Making money outside of a formal job is very possible, but you want an approach that works for you, not against you. With a MLM, you can easily end up spending far more than you earn.
Why bother with confusing commission schemes and relying completely on a misleading company when you can make money online on your own. Through affiliate marketing, you can develop a website that you can use to promote products you enjoy and earn money online, without ever needing to directly sell ore recruit to a single person.
Update: The amount of whiners in the comments about my critiques of this company is incredible. Personally, I believe that CBD oil definitely has some potential use cases for pain relief! I have nothing against CBD oil, or people that use it. My main issue is that network marketing people selling the product do so in an unethical, an non-science-based way. This is very much like any other kind of “miracle cure” out there where someone has a good experience with it, then recommends it to everyone for everything.
If you like it, great. Use CBD oil. That doesn't mean you have to sell it and recruit more sellers to your team.
Whatever type of product you decide to promote, it's important to own your own website to grow your business.
Parties only work if you have a network of friends with money in their pockets. Network marketing only works if your friends are interested in joining business opportunities.
With a website you can reach the entire world, and only promote great products to people interested in what you have to say. Plus, you open up doors to multiple streams of revenue like affiliate sales, ad click revenue, paid advertising, and even selling your own digital products.