Now that marijuana is legal in a growing number of states, the use of THC breathalyzers — a thing that’s been discussed at such length, it’s almost become an urban legend — is imperative. After several false starts and pandemic-related delays, it seems like their introduction into the world is imminent.
Hound Labs, based in Oakland, California, is getting ready to launch its Hound Marijuana Breathalyzer, a device that can detect the molecule of THC in the breath. The Hound Breathalyzer received a boost from an improbable source: COVID-19. The device was designed as a product to detect pneumonia, but once the pandemic hit, the company shifted towards the detection of COVID-19.
“Hound Labs created the COVID-19 breathalyzer based on the same exquisitely sensitive technology platform that we use for the Hound marijuana breathalyzer that’s coming to market later this year,” Hound Labs CEO Dr. Mike Lynn told FOX43.
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According to Hound Labs, their breathalyzer is capable of making a clear distinction between responsible marijuana use and irresponsible one, a distinction that cannot be made by urine and blood tests, which may show results that date back up to three months. This new device shows marijuana use within the past three hours, usually the amount of time that a high lasts. It can be used by police officers and by companies who drug test their employees, ensuring that they are judging people fairly.
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Over the past couple of years, several companies have been working on marijuana breathalyzers, considering them important now that marijuana’s federal legalization is edging closer and closer.
While there’s no way of measuring stoned driving without a device like a THC breathalyzer, states like Washington, Oregon and Colorado experienced a 6% rise in car crashes after marijuana was legalized. Having a device that can distinguish marijuana use from other types of behaviors will help police officers determine the right course of action and will make users more careful when ingesting THC and getting behind the wheel.