Case #91-2022: Monitoring Inquiry – Kannaway, LLC
BBB NATIONAL PROGRAMS, INC.
The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council
Case Number: 91-2022 – Monitoring Inquiry – Kannaway, LLC
Kannaway, LLC (“Kannaway” or the “Company”) is a direct selling company headquartered in Poway, CA that sells CBD and wellness products to consumers.
Basis of Inquiry
The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (“DSSRC”) is a national advertising self-regulation program administered by BBB National Programs. This inquiry was commenced by DSSRC pursuant to its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry.
This inquiry concerns health-related product claims disseminated by the Company‘s salesforce members. The representative claims that formed the basis for this inquiry are set forth below.
- “Treat pain, stress, inflammation, anxiety, PTSD, Parkinson, Diabetes, Crohn’s, Cancer & seizures just to name a few. All natural with no side effects.”
- “CBD! It’s good for complicated things like cancer, Parkinson’s. seizures, pain, depression, ADHD and anxiety and an image of eczema with copy stating “My coworkers eczema he used it on one arm to see if he would notice a difference to try and call my bluff on the Kannaway salve, as you see he notices a difference!”
- “Great for inflammation due to arthritis. Great for eczema and psoriasis”
- Translated from French “…ideal for people with #psoriasis, #gercures, #eczema on their hands”
- “Topical CBG. Shown great promise for treating dermatological and other skin conditions: Atopic Dermatitis; Eczema; Psoriasis”
- “A truly pure CBD salve is good for numerous benefits including instant pain relief, eczema, psoriasis, herpes, hair growth, folliculitis & dry skin just to name a few.”
- “I like to call it the MacGyver salve because it helps with so many different things such as eczema, psoriasis, burns, joint pain, sunburns, great moisturizer, massages, headaches, toothaches, etc.”
- “Kannaway CBD has been great for the arthritis in my hands and in my knees”
- Image with copy stating “FOR ARTHRITIS; According to research, cannabidiol (CBD) helps reduce inflammation cause by all types of arthritis and joint conditions, such as Rheumatoid arthritis, gout and osteoarthritis, thus reducing pain. CBD has also shown to significantly slow down the progression of arthritis”
- “#non-invasive treatment #arthritis #jointpain #buritis #fibromyalgia #carpaltunnelsyndrome #migraine #plantarfasciitis #botox”
- “We all have different ailments from tendinitis to arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, menstrual cramps, shin splints, and carpal tunnel (the list goes on). Do you believe that it has helped ALL of us?”
- “As a Brand Ambassador for Kannaway, I can offer products to really help you with the following: sleep issues; anxiety; depression; fibromyalgia; epilepsy; arthritis; autism; chronic pain; nausea; and more…”
- Image of a closed fist with copy stating “This 80 year old lady could not close her hands due to arthritis. She rubbed Kannaway salve on her hands and 25 minutes later this is what her hand looked like”
- “This is CRAZY!” A little over a month I had full total knee replacement. Not just regular knee replacement. I’ve had 13 knee surgeries and it was fractured and unable to walk when I went in for surgery. When I got home from the hospital I started taking CBD capsules. When I went to see the Dr on my 1st check up, 2 weeks after surgery. He was so surprised on how well I was doing. He was expecting a lot more swelling and bruising that I had none. I was healing as if it was a normal replacement. About a week ago I started using salve on ½ my scar just to see for myself, and I am surprised of the difference. Not only salve is good for pain, arthritis, and its good for scars too. WOE! Today I am walking with 1 crutch, pain is almost gone, sleeping all night and feeling amazing, and getting out on my own thanks with the help of CBD. If I wasn’t a believe before I am now…”
- “Which sounds better to you…a few drops a fay or a ton of pills & supplements?”
- Image with copy stating “Here is a full list of ailments studies have shown CBD oil helps with: ADD/ADHD; Addiction; AIDs; ALS; Alzheimer’s; Anorexia; Antibiotic resistance; Anxiety; Atherosclerosis; Arthritis; Depression; Obesity; OCD; Osteoporosis; Parkinson’s; Prion/Mad Cow disease; Metabolic syndrome; Migraine; Mood disorders; Motion Sickness; Multiple Sclerosis; Skin conditions; Sleep disorders; Spinal cord injury; Diabetes; Endocrine disorders; Epilepsy/Seizure; Fibromyalgia; Glaucoma; Heart disease; Huntington’s; Inflammation; Irritable bowl; Kidney disease; Liver disease; Nausea; Neuropathic pain; Stress; Stroke/TBI; PTSD; Rheumatism; Schizophrenia; Sickle cell anemia; Asthma; Autism; Bipolar; Cancer; Colitis/Crohn’s”
- “Latest information on CBD and Arthritis. I can show you our triple lab testing and Certificate of Analysis. Kannaway is the Only CBD in the Physicians Desk Reference!”
- “A little bit of a personal story today. My dad - who is almost 80 - has been suffering from arthritis for a few years now. Last Christmas, I gave him the salve ( see below), which a CBD cream for joints and muscles, and the next day, he woke up with a big smile on his face. He feels less pain and does not need to rely on over the counter painkillers anymore. Big win!”
- “The Kannaway CBD Oral Applicator is a Nutraceutical in the US, but is prescribed in 11 countries for conditions such as Cancer, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD, Epilepsy, Pain Management.”
- “#anxiety #autism”
- “How will CBD help you in 2020?”
- Image with copy stating “Depression; Anxiety; Stress; Inflammation; Sleep Issues; joint Discomfort”
- “Do you suffer with acne? Eczema? Psoriasis? Need help? #eczema #psoriasis”
- “This particular CBD oil is what I take! It calms my anxiety/panic attacks, it helps me recover from the gym and me [s]tretching folks, helps me sleep, helps bring my body into homeostasis(I have been in that state for a long time😁), it gives me energy and focus. Also, my hubby and I along with my parents have yet to be sick👊💥”
- “Make a order to day help with pain arthritis nausea”
- “I had a doctors appointment this past Friday…my Doctor as well as I was so excited to see my vials. I have been using several products to see if they would make a difference. I did feel the difference immediately in my movement and now I know it’s helping my: Arthritis, Cholesterol and Blood Pressure”
- “Headache, sleep issues, pain, anxiety, edges thin? This company is the only Pure CBD line of products in the physicians desk reference”
The Company did not attempt to substantiate the health-related product claims at issue in this inquiry. Rather, the Company informed DSSRC that it attempted to contact the individuals responsible for the social media posts and request that they have the posts removed or modified. The Company informed DSSRC that only one of the individuals responsible for disseminating the posts remains associated with the Company and that individual complied with the Company's request to remove the posts. The Company stated that it does not have the ability to mandate compliance with individuals who are no longer associated with the Company.
Analysis and Recommendation
As noted above, Kannaway did not provide evidence to DSSRC to support the claims at issue in this inquiry.
As DSSRC has noted in several previous inquiries1, health-related claims must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence, demonstrating that the product can perform as claimed. The Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) standard of competent and reliable scientific evidence has been defined in FTC case law as “tests, analyses, research, studies, or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area, that has been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.”2
As such, DSSRC determined that the actions taken by the Company in its attempt to have the claims removed were necessary and appropriate. However, as noted above, only one of the individuals responsible for disseminating the health-related product claims at issue in this inquiry was responsive to the company’s requests and only three of the serious health-related product claims identified by DSSRC have been removed.
DSSRC has recognized in past decisions that “when a direct selling company…is made aware of an improper product or income claim that was made by an individual that was an active distributor when such claim was made but that has since become an inactive distributor of the company, DSSRC acknowledges that the direct selling company may not be able to require the former distributor to remove such claim.”3 In that instance, DSSRC nonetheless recommends that the direct selling company make a bona fide good faith effort to have the improper claim removed, including by attempting to contact the individual in writing.4 If the social media platform where the subject post was made provides a mechanism for reporting trademark or copyright violations, DSSRC recommends that the direct selling company promptly utilize such mechanism and seek removal of the subject claims and posts.5 If efforts to utilize a mechanism for reporting trademark or copyright violations are unsuccessful or if the subject claim occurred on a website or platform without a reporting mechanism, DSSRC recommends that in addition to making a bona fide good faith effort to contact the individual as described above, the Company contact the website or platform in writing and request removal of the subject claim or post.
DSSRC determined that the actions taken by the Company to attempt to have five health-related product claims removed to be necessary and appropriate. With respect to the remaining claims, DSSRC recommended that the Company take additional steps to facilitate the removal of those claims by following the steps outlined above. DSSRC will monitor the Company’s efforts to facilitate the removal of the social media posts at issue in this inquiry and will continue to monitor the product claims being disseminated by Kannaway and its salesforce members in the marketplace.
The Company supports efforts to promote an effective culture of self-regulation in the direct-selling business industry and has developed comprehensive policies and procedures aimed to ensure that its business practices and the marketing practices of its salesforce members adhere to all applicable laws and regulations, including industry-specific FTC guidelines. The Company devotes significant resources to continually monitor the marketing materials, claims, and social media activity of its salesforce members and will continue to do so.
The Company does not dispute that the social media posts brought to the Company’s attention were inappropriate and were in violation of its Policy & Procedures. The Company made a bona fide good faith effort to contact the active and inactive salesforce members responsible for the social media posts at issue and requested the immediate removal of the posts. The Company was successful in removing the identified posts from all active salesforce members.
(Case No. 91-2022, PCM closed on 11/08/22)
© 2022 BBB National Programs
 See DSSRC Case #63-2022 –Innov8tive Nutrition; DSSRC Case #68-2022 – Daxen, Inc.; DSSRC Case #69-2022 – Max International, LLC.
 See, e.g. Vital Basics, Inc., C-4107 (Consent April 26, 2004); see also In Re Schering Corp., 118 F.T.C. 1030, 1123 (1994).
 Case #12-2020 Young Living Essential Oils, LLC.
 Case #86-2022, Visi.
 Id. See DSSRC Case #58-2022 Surge365 ; DSSRC Case #52-2921 Daxen, Inc., and Case #30-2020.