Snake Oil: History repeats itself

February 23, 2014 in Ethics and Morality, Medical Cannabis, Weed Business, Weed Politics

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Humans can be relatively stupid and gullible creatures. We will believe anything if you put the right sales spin and fancy marketing on it.

So here we are over 100 years after the snake oil peddlers were done away with by the 1906 Food and Drug Act, which attempted to regulate medicines and curb the abuses of “travelling “doctors” with dubious credentials, selling fake medicines with boisterous marketing hype, often supported by pseudo-scientific evidence.” Sound familiar? Yes….Look around you. History is indeed repeating itself and the cannabis snake oil salespeople are out in full force to sucker you out of your hard earned cash before prohibition ends.

The ruse was simple. Wander into a town of unsuspecting people proclaiming to have the cure all for their illness and disease and sucker the townspeople into buying up all of your bullshit snake oil preparations. The way they would pull off the trick is to have accomplices in the audience that would claim that the preparation had really helped them. They would sucker people into believing their bullshit based on the testimonies of those who had supposedly used this new cure all and had been healed. Yeah…Let that soak in for a minute. Check the landscape and you can see that this ruse is more alive than ever, and the internet and social media have made it easier than ever to pull off. The quasi-legal state of cannabis and the lack of oversight or regulation make it extra easy picking for these modern day medical hucksters.

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What we have is a perfect storm for fraud, corruption, and deception.

So how is this happening in the modern age of strict medical oversight and regulation? Simple….Because cannabis s first and foremost an illegal Schedule 1 narcotic it is in no way regulated. But because of the growing acceptance for medical cannabis in many states and a level of tolerance for these programs by the USDOJ, what is happening is people are pushing the boundaries of medical truth and ethics to sell hemp/weed oil products. Since the regulators cannot regulate the market without ending the complete prohibition of cannabis and acknowledging it does need oversight, people are left to make their wild claims and sell their bogus oils on the open market with very little fear of prosecution. It is disgusting.

The saddest part is that a lot of the new hype we see is aimed directly at children. Take the group “Realm of Caring” from Colorado lead by Josh Stanley and his brothers. They did a really shitty TV reality show called American Weed where they acted like some experts in weed and overacted their “reality” scenes to a point of nausea. They then were gifted a strain of cannabis which was high in CBD and found it to work well for cases of children with severe epilepsy and other conditions. Enter Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his highly watched program called “Weed” where he shifts his professional opinion on medical cannabis and does a great close-up spot on the efficacy of this medicine for a young girl named Charlotte. It is a well-done and touching piece that was informative and helped people to understand that cannabis did indeed have special healing properties. All good so far, right?

Leave it to the American value of money over morals to step in and take over though. Instead of being grateful they had discovered a remedy that could help others and working to make sure parents of these kids had access to these types of medicines, the brothers Stanley decided that they had found the magic beans and were going to keep them for their own gain. Because of the media they received they became a go to resource for parents who were desperate for relief for their children. The RoC group has truly let their minimal success based on limited sampling and over-hyped media go to their head. Parents have reported being forced onto a waiting list for care for many months and being forced to sign non-disclosure/non-compete agreements that only allow them to discuss their care and receive medicine from Realm of Caring. They are selling what amounts to a good high CBD strain dissolved in olive oil for big money to parents desperate to make their child’s suffering stop. It is pretty fucked up from an ethical standpoint on many levels. If there really was any “realm of caring” in there they would share the strain with parents in need and allow them to cultivate low cost medicine for their child; or at the very least allow other people with more production capability produce it in a higher volume to meet demands and not have to wait months because they believe everything Dr. Sanjay Gupta says on CNN.

NOTE TO PEOPLE SEEKING OIL: There are far higher quality and less expensive products available than are being offered to most caught up in the hype game.

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As I dig deeper into the Stanley’s background and operations, more and more questions are raised. Now the RoC group is working to push CBD only legislation in states to ensure their place in the market by playing on drug war and prohibition fears. The Stanley’s go out of their way to play into the hype and propaganda, as they try to differentiate themselves from the average “stoner” or “pothead.” Check out these classic quotes from the Stanley’s and their mission from God:

“We are not a bunch of stoners, and we do not associate with the stereotypes of what people would like to associate with us,” Joel Stanley said. “We care about what we do.”

So you are suggesting that because one is a “stoner” that they do not care about what they do? And then there is this classic:

“If we were growing psychoactive plants for a bunch of potheads, then that would be the question,” he said. “But what people should ask is ‘How did a group of Christians come to grow a plant for sick people?’”

So now you are using your religion as a moral higher ground for your cannabis production? You are throwing the entire cannabis culture (which your friends say you were indeed a pretty deep part of…former deadheads) under the bus to play yourself as literally “God’s gift to weed?” This is the making of the modern day Snake Oil Salesman. Some fancy marketing, a little media push, and some good old fashion Jesus hyperbole for the folks in the cheap seats. It is insane that such a transparent group of charlatans have successfully bullshitted public officials and unsuspecting parents into buying their shitty story.

But they are far from the only ones. There are almost too many to mention. Swing a dead cat around and you will probably hit a person trying to push their latest miracle cure; but let’s stick to the big dogs.

The other big scam popping off is the questionable hemp derived products being pushed most notably by Hempmeds PX RHSO (Real Scientific Hemp Oil). The company claims that their product is legal to distribute in all 50 states because it is derived from hemp paste that is legal to import. Their claims are dubious and are moving targets. The parent company, Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA) has a lot of affiliated companies that have made a lot of strange moves on the stock market, which is a totally different but related story. There is a good article entitled “Medical Marijuana, Inc. Definitely A Dope Opera” on Seeking Alpha that is worth checking out to get a better breakdown of the complex bullshit workings of this company, and their former partnership with Dixie, a Colorado based company also offering similar hemp derived preparations. It is extremely bizarre and frustrating. These con-artists have exploited the popularity of cannabis and zero regulation to make crazy marketing claims about their products.

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The product itself is a low quality product that is produced under conditions that reportedly leave a lot to be desired. Here is a quote from one of the scientists hire by Dixie, then a part of MJNA, to help create these product lines:

I am tired of so called CBD companies claiming that what they provide is medicine. Anyone using a CBD from hemp product please be aware of what you’re actually getting because it is not what you think. These formulations start with a crude and dirty hemp paste (contaminated with microbial life! I have seen this and these organisms decompose the paste. The paste perhaps even contains residual solvent and other toxins as the extraction is done in China ) made in a process that actually renders it unfit for human consumption.

What these companies are doing is criminal and dangerous. In fact MJNA’s RSHO is literally just this hemp paste diluted in hemp seed oil. No refinement at all!!! And what Dixie Botanicals is offering is beyond disturbing. I cannot keep quiet any more. And since I formulated most of these products as head of Dixie science, I feel responsible for spreading the truth. I left Dixie for ethical reasons but it is not enough to just walk away. These frauds need to be exposed for what they are. Look out for my tell all article coming soon and feel free to contact me directly with questions as it is time to blow the whistle. Let’s keep this industry pure and safe.”

— Tamar Wise, formerly head of Dixie Science.

Sound good? Yeah…now check out the price tag:

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That is right. For only $550 a tube or six tubes for $3,000 you too can have some shitty hemp paste black oil that comes from who knows where and is overseen by absolutely no one. You say, “Well Mickey….they haven’t exactly sent in people pretending to have been healed to sell their products have they?” Great question. I am glad you asked.

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Check out this new MULTI_LEVEL MARKETING scam being put out by the MJNA group called Kannaway. Does it sound like some Amway pyramid scheme? Well it is. Unbelievable right? Check out this conference call the company has where this unsuspecting guy finds this great opportunity to sell these awesome products and make some extra money! How convenient. LOL:

THIS VIDEO WAS MADE PRIVATE BY THESE COWARDS AFTER THIS STORY BROKE. THEY MUST BE ASHAMED OF SOMETHING? IT HAS BEEN REPLACED WITH ANOTHER VERSION.

Still not sold that is a scam yet? Listen to this bullshit fake news interview with known MJNA spokesperson Charles Vest (friend of #bitchface) where he explains the great opportunity. It is ripe with Snake Oil Salesman double-speak and bullshit:

They have posted messages like this all over social media and especially in forums where parents with sick children go to discuss their situation, often using very similar stories of success with people to lure them in:

Aloha My Friend! Listen – you’ve got to know about this. Do you already? I’m joining the 1st legal CBD product company and they’re launching in March / April. I’m going in with friendsand am gathering my troops .. it’s MLM style. 100% legit, legal, and I can send you more info. Let me know if you’re interested – this is BIG – millions of dollars and years of medical research to validate what we already know. This is going to blow up!! Do it with me, I will help you build a massive downline! If you are at all interested My ID (sponsor ID #) is: 2******* – enroll yourself first here: Kannaway | The Buzz Launch www.thebuzzlaunch.com Kannaway | The Buzz Launch www.thebuzzlaunch.com Team Information Website Under Development: www.CBD4us.com Has been submitted to Kannaway for Compliance review. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed! Company CBD Information Website: mycbdresearch.com We are now seeing the Convergence of …The Opportunity • Ground-floor … still in FREE prelaunch • March 1 – Basic ordering begins • April 1 – Official Launch with a powerful hybrid unilevel compensation plan Affiliate Company Websites • www.medicalmarijuanainc.comwww.realscientifichempoil.com • ·www.hempmedspx.com

I am not sure how clear I need to make this, but these folks are making a big press to separate you from your money by providing false hope at inflated prices before the veil of prohibition is lifted and they are found out to be frauds.

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Snake Oil selling is alive and well, complete with fake people who have been miraculously cured, fancy marketing, misleading labeling, and arm twisting. These bold faces liars and fraudsters are here to do one thing…make money and lots of it. They are using these schemes to boost their stock profiles as well. It is all a very twisted and ugly game to sucker investors and people who want to believe, but who do not live in a medical cannabis state, out of their hard-earned cash.

It is fucked up and we as a community should not allow for this to go on in our name. There are people’s loyalties being bought and sold on the open market to give some credence to these bullshitters; and it never ceases to amaze me what losers will fall into the traps of these frauds. But it is happening and many choose to stand back without saying a word in hopes that the whole deal does not collapse before our eyes and dismantle the work we have done so some bastards can have their get rich quick scheme based on lax supplement laws and misleading marketing.

This story is so big it is hard to write in one piece and it is only growing by the day. More to come on CBD only legislation, stock scammers, and inferior oil products in their own rights later. But it is up to us, as a community, to begin asking the tough questions and exposing these scams before good people get hurt any more.