Marijuana Legalization Drives Demand for THC Breathalyzer
September 19th, 2016
News, Top Story
The North American cannabis industry is likely to see tremendous growth over the next year. In Canada, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party is expected to make good on its campaign promises and legalize recreational marijuana in the spring of 2017. In the United States, the November 2016 election cycle includes California’s Proposition 64 that would legalize marijuana for adult recreational use in California – by far the largest U.S. market for the drug.
Existing medical and recreational marijuana sales have also been on the rise. In Colorado, legal marijuana sales grew more than 40% to nearly $1 billion last year. These revenues generated more than $135 million in tax income that was diverted to schools and other public projects – a strong incentive for other states to legalize the drug. In Canada, a number of licensed producers under the MMPR have reported strong medical marijuana revenue.
Lawmakers and public services have struggled to keep up with this rapid growth and could soon face mounting problems next year. Colorado lawmakers struggled to keep contaminated product off the shelves earlier this year, which has created demand for stronger testing requirements for growers and producers. Police have also been struggling with the enforcement of impaired driving given the lack of reliable testing equipment.
Most people are aware that drunk drivers are at an increased risk of accidents, with crash risk doubling at blood alcohol levels of between 0.05% and 0.085%. These risks increase 150-fold with a blood alcohol level of greater than 0.24%. In contrast, relatively few people realize that cannabis is the second most widely used impairing drug in the world after alcohol. Many cannabis users do not believe that the drug impairs driving despite mounting evidence.
In Washington State, fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled after the state legalized the drug, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The group examined drug tests and fatal crashes among drivers in the state and found that the percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes who recently used marijuana more than doubled from 8% to 17% between 2013 and 2014 – 1-in-6 drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 tested positive.
The problem is that there is no way for law enforcement professionals to accurately measure THC levels in the same way that they can test for alcohol. Rather than a simple roadside test, officers must take suspects into custody and arrange for a blood test to determine THC levels. These tests are both invasive for the suspects and difficult for officers to implement, since they must show probable cause before taking such actions.
Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO) has been a first mover in the development of a marijuana breathalyzer and continues to be a leader in the space. The company debuted its most recent beta in July – a standalone desktop sized device with a proprietary power supply that operates at ¼ the size and 1/10 the power requirements of the alpha version. With a Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS) mass spec setup, the system is capable of accurately detecting THC concentrations. Cannabix is now completing its “Beta 2.0” device that will have been reduced in size even further, as much as 5X. The Beta 2.0 device will also deliver greater sensitivity. The company expects to have a pilot test ready device for scientific trials for later this fall, while the company continues to develop its Beta 3.0 version that will be a completely portable handheld device.
Kal Malhi, President, recently commented, “Cannabix is moving quickly towards launching our FAIMS-based Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer and completing external testing. With up to nine states in the US voting on marijuana legalization measures this fall, the need for a marijuana breathalyzer is becoming ever critical and we believe our timing for external testing of the Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer will coincide with further states legalizing marijuana.”
Many other first-movers in the cannabis industry have built sizable valuations in the public markets, including GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) and MedBox Inc. (OTC: MDBX). Investors have a unique opportunity to get involved with the company on the ground floor as it prepares to commercialize its breakthrough technology. The rapid growth in the marijuana industry has created sizable demand for a viable solution to the impairment problem.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.cannabixtechnologies.com.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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