Both the Amway and Herbalife cases underscore one of the problems of prosecuting alleged pyramid schemes: There is no federal law defining the crime, leaving it to the courts to interpret and pricey lawyers to find wiggle room. The debate is also clouded by the rhetoric of free markets. At the far right end of that debate is the DeVos family, which has donated $200 million to Republicans over the years, and owns a company that combines Christian fundamentalism with extremist free-market ideology and maintains such a grip on many of those who join it that some, fearful for their lives and harassed mercilessly, went into hiding after they sought to expose it.
What this all adds up to, in the eyes of opponents and supporters, is a benign era for MLMs. Regulating these companies, with their legions of independent salespeople, is difficult for the toughest regulatory regimes. And the Trump era will be anything but that. “Anybody who would continue to expect or hope for law enforcement regarding financial schemes of this type would be living in a dream world,” said Robert FitzPatrick, the president of the watchdog Pyramid Scheme Alert. “[MLMs] are going to gain protection.”
Today we're going to point our skeptical eye at network marketing plans, formerly known as multilevel marketing or MLM (name changed to escape the stigma). They say that when there's a gold rush, the way to make money is to sell shovels. Network marketing companies sell shovels, along with dreams of gold: All you have to do is go out there and dig, dig, dig, and buy more shovels, and get your friends to buy shovels too. Levi Strauss and other suppliers became millionaires, and hundreds of thousands of miners went broke.
One such success story is Nicole Haas of Williamsburg, Virginia. A bubbly blonde and former personal trainer, she put $12,000 on a low-interest credit card to start her LuLaRoe business in January 2017. Through working 25 to 30 hours a week, she paid off her credit card in May and now puts $3,000 a month in her family’s account, less taxes. “It’s changed my life,” she says. “It’s changed who I am as a person.”
Unfortunately, many pyramid schemes attempt to present themselves as legitimate MLM businesses and, often, it can take many years for the FTC to finally step in and close down these fraudulent companies… so BEWARE! Do your due diligence and avoid any opportunity that emphasizes recruiting members and getting paid, rather earning commissions for the sale of products and services.
The reality is there’s nothing special about the stuff MLM companies sell. You can find whey protein and meal replacement shakes at your local CVS or online. You can buy essential oils at Whole Foods and Amazon. Your wife can buy quality make-up and skincare products at Ulta, Walgreens, or online. You can get pretty much anything an MLM sells and often for much cheaper, even when your MLM distributor discount is factored in (see the next section). There’s nothing significantly different about MLM products besides the marketing and branding.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of dozens of non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Cannabidiol, and all the other cannabinoids, were patented by the United States Government in 2003 as neuroprotectants and antioxidants (Patent No. 6,630,507). Cannabinoids are characterized by their ability to act on the cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the body. CBD and other cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that display potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They can promote the body’s healthy regulation of the central nervous, immune, and endocannabinoid systems.
The most abundant cannabinoid in hemp oil, making up over 90% of the cannabinoid content, cannabidiol or CBD is non-psychoactive and is the focus of the benefits from hemp oil. CBD has little affinity for CB1 or CB2 receptors, the main points of interaction for cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system, and instead acts as an indirect antagonist of cannabinoid agonists, possibly allowing CBD to temper the high caused by THC.
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “Ananda,” which translates to “peace”).
The great thing about Network Marketing is that it usually involves a small initial investment and can return high dividends on that investment. Usually, the original investment is only a few hundred dollars. This initial investment will allow you to purchase a product sample kit, and begin to sell the products to friends, family, and others. The Multi-Level component of Network Marketing comes into play, in that most Network Marketing opportunities also ask their representatives to recruit other sales representatives. The new recruits are considered the representative’s downline, and they will usually generate income directly from their sales as well as from those whom they have recruited.
There's also the question of CBD's legality – something that's a lot grayer than the black-and-white picture most companies paint. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considers CBD, like all cannabinoids, a schedule 1 drug. That means it's just as illegal as heroin and ecstasy. Meanwhile, hemp – a variety of the cannabis plant regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – is legal , so long as its THC content is negligibly low. But because the agriculture department doesn't test for CBD – only THC – in hemp, more companies are getting away with selling products they say contain CBD, says Sara Jane Ward, an assistant professor of pharmacology at the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine who's been studying CBD in rodent models for more than 10 years. Needless to say, the legality of CBD is "very confusing and very gray," she says.
Do you think CBD oil may be right for you? Then check out Green Roads CBD oils for the highest-quality CBD tinctures on the market! We offer CBD hemp oil tinctures in a different range of dosages, from 100mg to 3500mg per bottle, to meet your specific needs. Designed to fit into your daily routine and easy to buy online, Green Roads CBD oils were made with our customers in mind.
I'm not saying this product works, but I'm not saying it does not work. All I can tell you for sure is that I fell and broke both shoulder rotator cuffs and have been in pain for going on 2 years. Yes I've been to no less than 5 different doctors from stem cell guys to other specialists and the consensus was and is I am too old for surgery and a successful outcome is dim. I started taking this oil and am now functioning better with much duller pain than before. My family says my attitude is better. I'm not sure it is this oil that's helping but all I know is I feel better when I take it as instructed. If it's my imagination...so be it. I'll take it!
Inhibited liver function: The liver regulates the way different drugs are metabolized within the body; this process is known as hepatic drug metabolism. Higher-than-average doses of CBD oil can slow the hepatic drug metabolism process. As a result, users may not be able to process other drugs as quickly. This is particularly concerning for CBD oil users who also take prescription medications.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a potent, non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp oil. It is typically extracted from industrial hemp plants that are naturally high in CBD and other phytochemicals. It is the most prevalent of over 80 different cannabinoids found in natural hemp. It is commonly used for its therapeutic properties. Cannabidiol is responsible for a wide-range of positive health benefits through its interaction with the body's own endocannabinoid system.
The substance responsible for the high associated with marijuana comes from a different substance, which is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol.) Growers who want to maximize the plant's high use breeds and techniques that focus on higher THC levels. Meanwhile, cannabis that's grown for hemp is generally richer in CBD than THC, and that's where CBD is derived from.
Almost everything we use in our diet to prevent or manage health problems has some risk of side effects, and hemp oil is no exception. Firstly it is important to note, however, that negative side effects of hemp oil are rare and some only occur in extreme cases, they can also be considered minor in comparison to the side effect of pharmaceuticals. To date, there have been no reported cases of toxicity from the ingestion of hemp seed oil.
Did you get an answer for this? I have the exact same scenario. I'm treating my TN with Tegretol, and recently tried CBD. I think I took too much and there are some weird drug interactions with Tegretol and I felt quite stoned....was alone and talking to myself in my head thinking I was Einstein. It freaked me out a bit but I think I took too much. I'm trying lower doses again as recently my TN seems to be resisting the meds, although I have had a lot of emotional stress, which seems to be a trigger. Thanks!! Anna
Imagine that Wendy's became suddenly possessed by the idea that "everyone needs to eat," and opened four Wendy's franchises on the four corners of an intersection in your neighborhood. Who would benefit from this folly? The consumer? Certainly not the franchises; they would all lose. Wendy's corporate? Perhaps temporarily, by speculative inventory sales while the unfortunate franchises were under the delusion that they could all make money. But in the end, the negative image of four outlets dying a slow death would likely offset the temporary inventory sales bubble. Even the most unreflective of the hapless franchisees would think twice about doing business in such a manner again. This is why real-world distributorships and franchises are contractually protected by territory and/or market.
Even while the popular culture’s view of MLMs is shifting, FitzPatrick doesn’t think we’re yet at a tipping point where consumers reject them en masse. Trump’s election may help explain why. After the election, FitzPatrick says he sent out a newsletter to the many victims of pyramid schemes who’ve come to him for help, explaining the connections with Trump.
In his book, According to Kotler, Paul Kotler defined this subject as follows: "Multilevel marketing (also called network marketing), describes systems in which companies contract with individuals to sell a set of products door to door or office to office. It is called multilevel because a contractor can also invite others to work and earn money on their performance." The sales representative thus has incentives to enlarge the sales force and to earn added commissions on the sales of his or her recruits.
As far as the retirement saving crisis is concerned, more and more people are coming to terms with the fact that they probably aren’t going to be able to save enough money to just sit around and slowly deplete their nest egg from age 62 to 100. With the average 50 year-old estimated to have less than $50,000 in retirement savings, there is an obvious need to find alternative ways to either save more or generate supplemental income starting now, and continuing throughout retirement. Moving beyond just the dollars and cents, boomers are growing tired of feeling guilty or bad about their past savings habits and are interested in moving towards possible solutions.
For more information, John Oliver did a fantastic segment about the horrors of MLMs. The 2016 documentary, Betting on Zero, investigates the allegations that MLMs are nothing but legal pyramid schemes. This article also does a wonderful job of breaking down the reasons why MLMs are doomed to failure. I encourage anyone who is thinking about signing up for an MLM to watch these.
But for most MLMs, the real money isn’t in selling wares: It’s in signing up consultants. Up until July 2017, LuLaRoe’s sellers who signed up new retailers got a 3-5% commission on the inventory their downline bought. But they only garnered that commission if they and everyone underneath them each bought 175 pieces a month, a rule that incentivized inventory buying.
Tammy et al, Through trial and error you will find a correct dosage. Try 50 mg daily....25 each 2x daily....if no results up the dosage until it works for you. Remember, there has never been a death from marijuana or CBD use. You might want to try a tincture or rub with CBD and THC. You won't get the psych high from it. Helps my friend with PArkinsons tremors. She takes 50mg of tincture and uses the rub morning and night. It is a miracle for arthritis. Good luck
“Of course, like anybody else, I was skeptical, because when you’ve got somebody sitting in your house, throwing all of these big money figures at you, you think to yourself, ‘Well, if I can make all this money then why are you driving a Nissan Sentra?'” says Murphy. “But I looked further into it. I went to a business briefing and to their convention.”Convinced that Market America could not only bring in a good income but also allow him more time with his family, Murphy signed up with the company six months later, shelling out $1,500 for cases of products and materials. Having just been laid off from his factory job, he worked part time as a distributor while enrolled in school, earning $6,600 a month selling Websites from his Ewing, New Jersey, home.
Hempseed is considered by leading researchers and medical doctors to be one of the most nutritious food sources on the planet. Shelled hempseed is packed with 33% pure digestible protein and is rich in iron and vitamin E as well as omega-3 and GLA. A recent report funded by the Canadian government states that hemp protein comprises 66% high-quality edistin protein, and that hempseed contains the highest percentage of this of any plant source. Unlike soy, hemp is not genetically modified, and it doesn't contain the anti-nutritional qualities commonly found in soy.
But many people can’t recruit enough folks and they end up spending a lot of their own money. As Laryea points out, “Recruits are often expected to purchase ‘starter kits’ or inventory to start selling products, which also earn the recruiters (and the recruiters’ recruiter) commission. Thus, multilevel marketing as a business strategy incentivizes participants to grow a sales network underneath them, also called a downline.”
Even when consultants wake up to the fact they’ve been hoodwinked, many don’t warn their friends to stay away. That’s because if you speak out against any of LuLaRoe’s rules or mishaps, the community could publicly shame and harass you for being negative. “I can’t believe you call yourself a Christian,” one retailer wrote to someone trying to sound the alarm. “Where is the Jesus in you? I have to block you due to your constant-gross-delusional-uneducated opinions of LLR.” If you reveal you are struggling to make sales, you might be told to stop playing the victim, that you’re not putting in enough effort, to be more enthusiastic, and, of course, to buy more inventory.
Another field in which CBD is creating a buzz is in the area of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Both conditions have been treated with a variety of medications, courtesy of Big Pharma, that have had varying levels of success. Again, the long list of side effects can be off-putting to someone who just wants to get through the day without the sweaty tension of anxiety or the gray haze of depression.
Where is the "switch" that can be flipped in an MLM when enough sales people are hired? In a normal company a manager says, "We have enough, let's stop hiring people at this point." But in an MLM, there is no way to do this. An MLM is a human "churning" machine with no "off button." Out of control by design, its gears will grind up the money, time, credibility, and entrepreneurial energy of well-meaning people who joined merely to supplement their income. Better to just steer clear of this monster to begin with.
Amway stresses that the main difference between a legitimate MLM business model and a pyramid scheme is that a legitimate MLM is focused on selling products, not recruiting more salespeople. In a legitimate MLM, it should be possible to make money by simply selling products directly to customers. With that main criterion in mind, here are some other ways to identify product-based pyramid schemes:
Daria M. Brezinski Ph.D, a practicing psychologist and former marketing director for a multi-level marketing magazine, echoes these sentiments. “Many people don’t realize that multi-level marketing companies are successful because they help people satisfy a number of important human needs, including feeling significant, having connections, learning something new, and making a difference. I have heard people in network marketing say again and again, ‘I’m doing this because I’m meeting amazing people … making so many connections … and I feel so good about myself.’”
But then Jim sees something in the starter brochure: Instead of just buying the amount of shakes that he needs to fulfill the demand for them among his friends and family, Company A requires Jim to buy $100 worth of shakes each month to maintain his status as a distributor. The company says you need to do this so you have enough inventory to sell to people and so you yourself can use the product.
Network marketing programs feature a low upfront investment--usually only a few hundred dollars for the purchase of a product sample kit--and the opportunity to sell a product line directly to friend, family and other personal contacts. Most network marketing programs also ask participants to recruit other sales representatives. The recruits constitute a rep's "downline," and their sales generate income for those above them in the program.
Let's just suppose that "X" has been reached today in a particular MLM; the number of possible units sold at this price has just been exceeded, and you happen to be a starry-eyed prospect sitting in an MLM meeting listening to the pitch. Now consider: Does anyone in this company know about "X"? Does anyone care? Is the issue being suppressed on purpose for some other motive? Since we are supposing that the market saturation number "X" has been reached, everyone joining the MLM from now on is buying into a false hope. But that is not what the speaker will be saying. He will be telling you, "Now is the time to join. Get in on the 'ground floor'." But it is all a lie, even though the speaker may not know it. The total available market "X" has been reached and nobody noticed. All the distributors will lose from here on out. Could this be you? How could you possibly know at what point you will become the liar in an MLM?
I have systemic lupus & breast cancer. My lupus caused an autoimmune condition of my liver as well. It made me all stop in my tracks & re-evaluate options. Along with clean eating, working out, & this cbd oil, I no longer have the fatigue or itching I had (because of inflamed liver). Going through radiation right now & I contribute this oil to keeping my side effects at bay. This stuff is pure magic! Super quality & one of the higher percentages per serving of cbd oil Ive found. Customer for life!