Kannaway is one of the most well-known CBD oil MLMs, partly because they were the first American direct sales company in the CBD oil field. It was also one of the first companies to provide cannabis products to an international audience.
For those that don't know, CBD stands for cannabidiol and is one of the main chemicals in marijuana. It is a notable compound, as CBD may offer a variety of health benefits and has no psychoactive properties. In theory, these effects make CBD oil (also called hemp oil) a safe and legal way to get the health advantages that cannabis is meant to offer.
Of course, there is some debate about whether or not CBD oil actually provides the benefits that people suggest. There are other ‘miracle ingredient' MLMs out there too, like those that focus on the amazing benefits of Aloe Vera, essential oils, gandoderma, mushrooms, coffee, coconut oil and the like.
Such companies tend to heavily hype the potential health impacts of their products, while offering little scientific evidence to support the claims. There is typically scientific backing to the idea of the product being beneficial, but not nearly enough to prove anything. Consumers will need to decide for themselves whether or not they feel that the products are worth the price.
That being said, the market for CBD oil is heating up. Many people are interested in this type of oil, creating a significant potential to make sales. Kannaway's long history may be an advantage here, as many other companies havn't been around long.
Before we get into the nitty gritty about Kannaway specifically, there is one other thing to be aware of – the competition. The popularity of CBD oil has meant that many companies are entering the marketplace, including other MLMs. To successfully make money with Kannaway, you would need to convince people that Kannaway products are better than the other options on the market.
As an MLM, Kannaway offers the chance to earn by selling the products and also by building a team. While these patterns are common enough, each MLM has their own specific requirements and complexities. Kannaway is no exception, which is why this post also considers whether you can reliably earn money through Kannaway.
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, with most of their products containing compounds from cannabis in some way.
This reliance of hemp is most obvious with Kannaway's CBD oil products. This selection includes the types of products that you'll find from many CBD oil companies, like CBD oil liquid, CBD oil capsules and hemp vapes. There are also some less common items, such as Holiday Chocolate Energy Chews and French Roast Coffee (both of which contain CBD oil).
Some of the products seem pricy, like $177.58 (retail) for Pure CBD Liquid. While this oil is more expensive than many other brands, the price point is partly due to the size of the bottle. Even so, there are cheaper CBD oil products out there, some of which may be just as good (or better).
Kannaway does have a broader product selection than many other companies in the CBD oil field. For example, they offer a superfoods powder that uses hemp protein, a selection of skincare that relies on hemp and some kemp products for pets. This selection may help distributors to make sales., but the products are still fairly expensive.
Finally, the CBD oil from Kannaway is third-party tested and is extracted using a low-heat process. Both aspects suggest Kannaway's products are high quality.
Does CBD Oil Work?
At one point, the marketing for Kannaway heavily focused on hemp and strongly implied that the products functioned in a similar way to marijuana. They've stepped down from that marketing angle somewhat and appear much more professional these days.
Even so, Kannaway hardly ever mentions that hemp and CBD oil don't contain psychoactive compounds. While many people will be aware of this fact, it feels somewhat misleading to not make the information more obvious.
There is some evidence that CBD oil does offer health benefits, 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.
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.
Distributors for the company are called Kannaway Brand Ambassadors or Independent Distributors. To join you need to pay a fee of $54.98 each year. This provides access to a replicated website, a back office for tracking sales, some training and support.
Sales can be made through the replicated website or in person, with a commission rate of 30% either way. Selling in person means that you are buying the product at wholesale and then reselling it. The style means that customers get the item immediately and are able to see what they purchase. While those aspects can help to promote sales, the purchase first model also creates more risk for the distributor.
As always, the other earning approach is to build a team. The compensation plan for Kannaway gets complicated quickly and there are multiple different levels, bonuses, schemes and factors to consider.
The first aspect is that there is a minimum monthly requirement to earn from your team. You need to make 110 Personal Volume (PV) of sales every month to earn from your team. Using terminology like PV is common for an MLM, but it is also frustrating.
For one thing, the PV approach makes it difficult to calculate the financial total of the sales that you need to make. Without knowing this, it isn't possible to gauge how difficult the monthly target is to meet. Kannaway also avoids providing much information about how volume relates to dollar amounts until after people sign up for the company.
Kannaway tries to make it sound like the recruiting aspect isn't a big deal 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.
The main aspect is that you're earning percentage commissions based on where people fall in your downline. This means that the team under you needs to be making a significant amount of sales. You also need multiple generations under you. It isn't enough to recruit someone. Your recruits need to be recruiting too, as do their recruits and so on.
Getting a structure like this to work in practice is no easy feat. You'll often find that your recruits end up competing against one another and you. The pool for potential customers and recruits often dries up fast too, as many people are targeting the same general audience.
There is one other interesting part that is worth mentioning. Kannaway offers a Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG), which is a very unusual idea.
The figures sound amazing, but there are some serious limitations too:
- MIG commissions only start at the Executive Direct rank. This is the fourth rank in the commission scheme and many distributors won't ever get that far.
- You still need to hit the 110 PV goal with sales to get the guaranteed income.
- You also need to have at least three active distributors in your downline. These must be in separate legs and they need to hit the 110 PV goal as well.
So, even with the so-called guaranteed income, you need to hit a minimum amount of sales every single month. Targets like this suck because life simply isn't predictable. There may be some months where people are reluctant to buy and others where you don't have much time to put into promoting Kannaway.
The end result is that Kannaway's compensation plan is difficult to understand and even more challenging to optimize. Don't be fooled by the number of bonuses that they offer. Each of them has complex requirements. You'll typically find that only the high ranking members get a chance at most bonuses.
With the current popularity of CBD oil, Kannaway does have potential as a way to make reliable income. To do so, you'd need to have a customer base that is interested in this type of product. It would also be important to expand your audience over time.
Is this possible? Certainly. Just be aware that you're focusing on some pretty expensive products and there are many other CBD oil companies (and distributors!) out there.
Can you convince people that the products from Kannaway are better than other brands? What about people that don't currently use hemp products? Could you talk them into buying items from Kannaway regularly? Selling products directly in this manner isn't as easy as it sounds. Even if you're promoting an amazing product that has no equal, in-person sales are tough.
Recruiting people into a company is harder still. You have to convince people to invest their time and money into the company. To make money from your recruits, 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.
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.
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.
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