The world’s first cannabis breathalyser, designed for use by employers and police, has been designed by a US company called Hound Labs. The device is designed to allow for easy testing of individuals who may be suspected by authorities of driving whilst high, or working under the influence of Cannabis. A clinical study has shown that the device can recognise low levels of the drug in breath.
The device was tested by researchers from the University of California and they found that the breathalyser can detect THC – the component of Cannabis that gets you high – for two to three hours after smoking, which is the period that an individual would be most impaired in. This is the second test of the technology which is now being evaluated under peer review.
The company behind the new breathalyser was founded in 2015 by an emergency room doctor, turned entrepreneur, called Dr Mike Lynn, He is now the Chief Executive of Hound Labs.
Lyons wanted a product that could detect cannabis in the same way that current breathalysers can confirm alcohol levels.
Over $34m has been picked up from various donors to fund the project.
The product also works as an alcohol breathalyser, giving police an easy-to-use roadside for both intoxicants. Picking up drug drivers with the new breathalyser is a top priority and, already, a number of states in the US have agreed to take the product and to use and test it in the autumn to see if it works as described.
However, Hound Labs are not alone. A competitor from Canada, called Cannabix Technologies, is also researching how best to make breath testing products for this market.
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