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You will often find that chiropractors claim to be able to treat everything from ADHD and Alzheimers to diabetes, infertility, all the way to Down's syndrome, and they are all over websites, blogs, and social media postings. There is absolutely ZERO evidence chiropractic can treat those afflictions. It seems one professional organization is finally doing something about these unsupported claims... and it's a chiropractic organization.

College of Chiropractors of British Columbia (Canada) has warned all members from making efficacy claims in its latest policy clarification, mandated any claims to be removed ASAP, and the deadline passed three days ago (on 01-NOV-2018).

What is also interesting is BC Chiropractors are NOT allowed to give public opinions about vaccination (for or against) as chiropractors are NOT trained in infectious diseases. Yet it didn't stop some chiropractors, including two BC College of Chiropractors board members, from taking an antivax stance on social media. Both promptly deleted their antivax post after being reminded of the college policy. And one vice-chair has resigned after posting a video claiming a smoothie is more effective than a flu shot at preventing flu.

So where are such regulations or policies in the US?



It's clear that the Canadian chiropractors are far more careful in their allowed claims. But let's face it, chiropractics itself is just... unscientific. I won't go into the history of chiropractic. Suffice to say, it's one guy who claims through massaging the spine he can cure all sorts of things.

It may be surprising for you to learn that there is no "one" school of chiropractic. There are at least FIFTEEN different schools of manipulation of the spine, some may even have some sort of "scanner" (a Neurocalometer and its descendent, the Nervo-scope). They differ on which vertebrae to manipulate, how much, and how hard. Some don't even adjust the vertebrae, but the ligament.   (Meric, H.I.O, Logan, SOT, etc...)

But NONE of them can actually prove they do something objectively.

government report by DHHS Inspector General shows that about half of the Medicare money paid to chiropractors between 2010 and 2015 were improper. That's 250-300 million EVERY YEAR, not to mention millions in co-pay paid to such practitioners.  This rate is also about 4-5 times HIGHER than improper payments in other parts of Medicare system (where improper payments are just over 10%)

Why do we even keep chiropractors around anyway?  Esp. when they are prone to fraud, has no scientific proof of efficacy, and tends to believe in woo and unscientific things like antivax, that their own organizations had to rein them in?
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Some of the more recent MLMs have latched onto CBD, or cannabidiol as their next big thing, and several companies have started selling products based on CBD oil for topical and other uses. However, what those people failed to consider is CBD is NOT legal in all 50 states. That's right, holding CBD oil in certain states can get you arrested for drug possession, which can RUIN YOUR LIFE!

Fact: DEA considers CBD oil as a schedule I controlled substance, with ONE exception
DEA considers CBD oil "marijuana extract" and remains on schedule I (same as cocaine and heroin). DEA has allowed a specific formulation, containing less than 0.1% THC, and approved by the FDA, to be reclassified Schedule V. This happened in October 2018.

This is often misquoted by CBD advocates as "DEA legalized CBD" when nothing of the sort took place.

With that said, DEA has bigger fish to fry, like the opioid epidemic. But it's illegal. And if your state law enforcement wants to bust you, it can, as a man in Indiana found out. He was arrested for possessing CBD oil and prosecutors chose not to charge him because the state legislature made CBD legal AFTER his arrest.




Fact: Quoting the 2014 Farm Bill Will NOT automatically save you
Some CBD advocates claim that 2014 Farm Bill made CBD oil 50-state legal. However, this is again, creative misquoting. First, the bill has expired as of 30-SEP-2018 (though a bill extended the deadline to December 2018). Second, the bill actually says that only CBD oil sourced from a special state pilot hemp research program are legal. And only 19 states out of 50 have such state-licensed hemp growing programs. Unless your CBD oil or product is sourced from a licensed hemp producing state, it may not be legal.

There is a bill pending in Congress called Hemp Farming Act of 2018 which should legalize hemp farming across all 50 states, which will also likely legalize CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC.

Fact: Just because you can ORDER CBD oil across state lines doesn't make it legal
According to Michael Brubeck, CEO of Centuria Natural Foods, and the largest processor and supplier of CBD hemp oil in the country, "Well (shipping of CBD oil), it's tolerated. It's not being enforced. It is absolutely illegal, esp. according to attorneys of the USDA, DOJ, DEA, and FDA.", as quoted by Vice.

Conclusion
To market CBD based product in your state, you have to

1) make sure it's LEGAL in your state,

2) make sure it CAME from a legal state, and

3) make sure it's made from hemp SOURCED from a legal state.

Yet most CBD MLM participants cannot confirm any of these three requirements.
Which means they are breaking the law.
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Ever seen those offers: we're giving away (insert item) as a promotion, all you need to do is pay shipping and handling?

Let's dissect one and see how it really works.

Recently, someone brought this to reddit.com/r/scams attention. In the interest of NOT giving them any link juice, all names will be redacted, but you can easily figure it out.  Here's a screenshot of the top of their giveaway page.


They claim to be giving away all sorts of headsets and headphones for FREE. The catch is you'll need to pay about $13USD per item for shipping and handling.


However, are these headphones REALLY worth as much as they say? The answer is no. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Let's take that first headphone for example. They said "save $80", implying MSRP is $80.

Well, let's do a bit of digging via Google image search, and we got a $3 headset:


Oh, myyyyy. It's the EXACT SAME headset. For $2.99 with free shipping.  These headphones are NOT worth $80. They're not even worth $8. It's worth $3.00

Now you see why they are charging $13. For every order, they pocket $10, while making people believe they are getting something for cheap.

Let's pick another item, just to make a point.




This is the most expensive item, supposedly, on this website. Save $120, they exclaimed.


Yet you can tell with the MI logo this had to be a Xiaomi headset, not this generic (censored) brand name. And it's NOT worth $120. Try $2.



This sort of bogus promotion is a dark side of a legitimate business known as "dropshipping".

Dropshipping is legitimate. Basically, you operate a store with no warehouse and no inventory. If you get an order, you pass it on to a factory or warehouse and they ship it out. You pay the factory, and customer gets the goos. Everybody is happy.

But this is the "dark side" of dropshipping, where you get bogus claims of value and deception of the customers.  By claiming a $2 or $3 headphone is worth $80 or $120, then promise to "give them out for just $13 in shipping", the operator of this website is pocketing $10 per order doing virtually no work.

It's deceptive, but it's not breaking any laws per se.

And this happens quite often. One of the promos was hot on Facebook a while back in November and December was a "gold rose" for $10, but you must "order now to be ready for Valentine's Day".  But the gold rose is available on Aliexpress for $2 or $3. Every order that puts through means $7-8 profit for the store owner. But at least, that one didn't claim to be "giving it away for free" and claim "it's worth $100".

The cost of setting up a dropshipping store like this is low. You need a domain name, a Shopify (tm) cart, a dropshipping plug-in to Shopify that automates the transfer of orders in YOUR cart to Aliexpress orders, and a tracking plug-in so any package tracking info is sent back through your website.  The initial setup cost is maybe a few hundred dollars. Then the same thing can be recycled, just need a fresh coat of HTML for different things to pimp next time. I have no idea how much a guy can make from one website, but I'd expect it to clear at least several thousand dollars even after expenses.

There are even courses you can take online that teaches you how to do this. The legitimate way, mind you, not this underhanded (not)giveaway way.

So, what's the lesson to take away?

Be skeptical of any "bargains" you come across. There's probably a catch somewhere.
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When California Supreme Court handed down the Dynamex decision on May 4th, 2018, people wonder if the "gig economy" is doomed, as the decision is likely to affect Uber and Lyft drivers, and potentially all gig economy participants. But here's a question so far that had not been addressed: how will this affect multi-level marketing aka "MLM"?

In issuing the decision, CSC also handed down a new "ABC test" to see if the work should be classified truly as an independent contractor. To be classified as such, the worker needs to satisfy ALL THREE criteria below:

  • (A) that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact
  • (B) that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business
  • (C) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.

Does MLM pass the test? This is important because ALL MLM classify their participants as independent contractors (except for their corporate staff). They may get glorified names like "consultants", "Independent business owners", "brand ambassadors", and so on, but they are independent contractors because they get a 1099 and the end of the year.

But is joining an MLM really as an independent contractor...or as an employee?

Question A: is working in MLM actually free from control and direction of the hiring entity, both in performance and in fact?

This is going to be hard to answer, as it's NOT possible to say definitely either way. Many MLMs have LONG bylaws and joining agreements, including how you can dress and present the company image. (Mary Kay is infamous for its "no pants rule", really, look it up)

Question B: is working in MLM actually performing work that is outside the usual course of hiring entity's business?

This should be a definite "yes". MLMs typically have ZERO sales/promotional department. They may have a sponsorship department buying sponsorships and PR but no "sales force" per se.

Question C: is working for MLM something that the worker already does as an established trade, occupation, or such?

This is a "very likely no". Most people join MLM with zero experience (indeed, this is one of the mantras of MLM, "no experience needed, work as much or as little as you like")  Indeed, MLMs often specifically seek out housewives and students with ZERO work experience.

If MLM companies are forced to reclassify much of their associates as employees, this would be the end of multi-level marketing (as we know it).   And based on the ABC test presented, there is no reason why vast majority of MLMs will not be forced to do so.
And it may not be a bad thing.
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