Not much is known about the effects of marijuana on driving performance, but that didn’t stop several companies from developing their own weed breathalyzers. There’s Cannabix Technologies Inc from Vancouver, Lifeloc Technologies Inc from Colorado, and Washington State University researchers who are all known to be creating their own breathalyzers to help determine if a driver is impaired from recent marijuana use.
But among all these companies, it is California-based Hounds Lab Inc that seems to have discovered a breakthrough in developing an instant cannabis breathalyzer that also doubles up as an alcohol breathalyzer.
According to the company, it has already found out an accurate way of measuring THC—the psychoactive component of cannabis—within one or two blows. This has the potential to replace costly and time-consuming urine and blood tests that cannot distinguish between recent and chronic weed use.
“Our ability to measure THC in breath really should shift the national dialogue from one about simply detecting if THC is in someone’s body to a conversation where standards can be developed that reflect actual impairment,” said Hounds Lab Chief Executive Mike Lynn, who noted the tediousness of existing tests.
These THC breathalyzers can really help some states implement existing marijuana laws. For instance, Washington and Montana have set a limit of 5 ng/mL of THC while driving, while Pennsylvania’s limit is at 1 ng/mL.
Hound Labs is planning to price its product at $1,000 apiece, same as the average alcohol breathalyzer.
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