What the Future Holds
The Legality of Cannabis in the US
With the legality and new relaxed rules surrounding the medial and recreational use of Marijuana and Traceable Cannabidiol, by inclusion, CBD oil is now legal or at least accepted now in 47 of the 50 US States.
In 1987, I owned a small but thriving telecommunications company. I remember meeting with my bother-in-law, who at the time, was a closet tecno-junkie. Dave told me that if I wanted to become rich, I should start buying up company names on this thing called the Internet. More importantly, he described how information (especially documents, books and any open data) was going to be controlled by this new storage and distribution medium. He wasn’t 100% on-track, but he was correct about one thing, this thing called the Internet was going to be “game-changing”. Sadly, I didn’t listen and he too (for whatever reason) didn’t do any of the things we talked about. We both missed out on “the next big thing”. So, will removing Traceable Cannabidiol from the Farm Bills Class 1 Controlled Substance List be the next big thing? I don’t know. I do know however, I won’t be standing by this time, watching from a distance. One thing is for sure, in the medical and health industries alone, there is a major shift coming. When it comes to the amounts that are being spent on cannabidiols terpenes and what will come to be known as “traceable” CBD products (dietary supplements, skin care, beverages, clothing and manufacturing) the amounts are going to be staggering. The early adopters, those who’ve taken the risk over the last three or four years, have seen phenomenal growth.
Are You too Late?
Not at all! The CBD Industry alone is expected to reach 20 Billion dollars by 2020 and the number of products created with traceable CBD, is projected to be even higher. One thing’s for sure, you’d better know what you’re doing or at least be wise enough to partner with those who have experience in navigating the operational and ever-changing legal waters of dealing in CBD! Sorry, probably not the best use of that particular verb.
Selling through Direct Sales, Multi-Level Marketing or through parties is complicated enough, each with its own rules and regulations, many of which are not applicable to your local mom & pop or retail outlet. Adding CBD to the mix, is guaranteed to complicate the process – dramatically!
Being Prepared to Sell CBD through MLM
Here are just a few of the issues you will need to be ready to address before you start your MLM CBD business. At the very least, you had better be able to answer these few simple questions. Doing so, will mean the difference between failure and success.
- Is my Merchant Provider (and the underwriting bank) friendly to companies that sell through the MLM channel and now, CBD products?
This is without a doubt the most volatile part of your business. I’ve seen direct sales companies strangled and even die, because they didn’t pick the right processor and/or bank. Don’t ever take the word of the jobber or merchant re-seller when it comes to your business’ approval, and always read the fine print. Better yet, ask your software provider who they might recommend. They know which Merchant Providers are MLM friendly and more importantly, which underwriting bank will accept and work with companies selling CBD and CBD related products.
- Am I legally set up with all the appropriate and proper paperwork?
At the very least, you will need to meet with a qualified MLM attorney. One that knows the rules of the industry and preferably, the rules surrounding high-risk sales, refunds and returns. With the advent of Cannabis to an already litigious industry, your attorney should also be actively engaged in new and ever-changing rules, regulations and yes, even the atmosphere surrounding Cannabis and the selling of CBD related products.
- Can I Prove “Traceability”?
For CBD to be legal across the checkerboard called These United Sates, your product will need to contain less than .03% THC. And sorry, it’s not as simple as that. The most important facet of this equation is your products “Traceability”. When (and not if), but when the local or federal authority comes knocking on your door, (and if you ever have any kind of success, they will), then you had better be ready to prove that your product was derived from an innocuous strain of Cannabis called Industrial Hemp, and through every step of the process, you, not your vendors, but you, will need to show that your product (from seed to processing, packaging and delivery) supports the legal definition of “Traceability”
- Does my software support the sale of high-risk products like CDB?
Multiple currencies, split payments, multiple payment processing paths, cross-border recruiting, and tracking are all critical to your operations and success. If the software you want to use does not support these most basic needs, you will most likely fail and will be looking for another provider once you really start to grow. Just know, if you think you can wait and address these issues or add these features later, without it affecting operations, you are wrong. You will encounter missed opportunities for expansion and success. I’ve even seen companies fail entirely as they try to make the transition from one platform to another, when these features are not supported. Do it right and do it now!
- Am I ready and able to calculate, collect, report and correctly pay taxes on a product who’s legal and taxable rules fluctuate almost monthly?
Please don’t ever think you can track, calculate, collect report and then pay sales and use taxes by yourself. Your software system must have an automated and integrated sales tax system built in. With over 10,000 taxing jurisdictions in the US alone  (and it’s changing every month), you’ll want and need the security of having a reliable third party that you can refer to, lean on and fall back to, when the time arises, and it will. For MLM, I recommend Squire.
- Does my software, infrastructure and various vendors support a national and international footprint?
This is a must. The last thing you want to do is to pause or put a hold on your companies and distributors ability to expand. Network marketers are a driven bunch of wonderful people and if you make them “wait”, they will find another company to call home. Any good software should be able to support your foray into approved and needed international markets.
Again, these are but a few, but critical questions you must have positive answers to, before launching your CBD Direct Sales company.