Approved Roadside Saliva Test Faces Court Challenge in Canada
April 30th, 2019
App, Exclusive, News, Top Story
In August of 2018 the Canadian federal government approved the use of the Drager DrugTest 5000 by law enforcement officials for the detection of THC in drivers. The Drager device is, to this point, the only such device that has made it through the testing process conducted by the independent Canadian Society of Forensic Science. The government has been touting saliva tests as an important tool in the campaign to limit drug-impaired driving, but so far the impact has been limited.
Many factors play into the current state of roadside testing. Even though the Drager device was approved by the Forensic Science commission, one study conducted in Norway found false positive and false negative rates of around 14% for THC when compared to blood samples. The manufacturer recommends using the testing device in temperatures ranging from four to 40 degrees Celsius, presenting problems in Canadian conditions that are often far colder. As a result, many police departments have been waiting to adopt the technology. On top of the $6,000/unit cost, there are concerns that results could be challenged in court.
Recently, those concerns have played out in real life as a Nova Scotia medical marijuana patient is challenging the legality of the test. She was arrested and her license was suspended for seven days based on a positive saliva test for THC during a traffic stop. The charges were dropped and she was released when the police took her back to the station for a behavioral sobriety test that showed her to be unimpaired.
Alcohol is metabolized by the human body at a predictable rate, and certain levels of blood alcohol have fairly consistent effects on behavior. THC, meanwhile, is stored for a long time in fatty tissues and can be detected long after any possibility of impairment. Additionally, drug concentrations in saliva do not accurately reflect drug concentrations in the blood. Finally, the current tests are unable to distinguish between the different metabolites of THC that are processed in the body once the cannabis is consumed.
Eric Dumschat, legal director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada, sums up the reality of the current situation nicely. “We had expected there would have been more devices approved to this point and hopefully in the longer run, the technology is able to be improved. In an ideal world, we would have the equivalent of the breathalyzer, but alcohol is a very simple molecule compared with THC,” he said.
Development of the Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer
Cannabix Technologies Inc. (CSE: BLO) (OTC: BLOZF) is deep into its development of the Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer, seeking to provide consistent, convenient, and accurate THC detection for both law enforcement and workplace applications. The Breathalyzer utilizes field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) technology to detect THC from breath samples. FAIMS is an analytical chemistry technology that filters and identifies substances by separating ions. Cannabix is also working to develop sensitivity for different metabolites of marijuana. By detecting and measuring different metabolites of marijuana, Cannabix is working to provide a much more accurate picture of the recency of cannabis use.
From the company’s recent press release update on the Breathalyzer’s progress:
In addition to THC, Cannabix scientists are using FAIMS to detect two key metabolites of THC, being 11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol in standards and in breath.
Marijuana contains several cannabinoids in addition to THC, several of which are metabolized in the body relatively quickly and have shorter half-lives. THC can be detectable in blood for weeks; whereas, metabolites such as 11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol are only detectable for a few hours after consumption of cannabis. The detection of THC and its metabolites in human breath provides for real-time pharmacokinetic analysis. Such analysis provides a method for the identification of “recency of use” that will be important for determining impairment at the roadside. Detection capability of the metabolites provides analysis of frequent users of marijuana who tend to retain THC in their body for longer periods of time, relative to infrequent marijuana users who tend to clear THC from their body more quickly. This data and analysis will be important for an eventual court approved device. Furthermore, 11-nor-9- carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary metabolite from the liver, which is prevalent from the consumption of edibles.
Should Cannabix successfully bring the Breathalyzer, now in its Beta 3.0 phase, to market, it could provide just the solution public safety experts and advocates are longing for. In the meantime, police and government officials will continue to look for answers to the vexing problem of detecting and preventing cannabis-impaired driving.
The above article is sponsored content. Emerging Growth LLC, which owns CannabisFN.com and CFN Media, has been hired to create awareness. Please follow the link below to view our full disclosure outlining our compensation: http://www.cannabisfn.com/legal-disclaimer/
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.
Follow Us on Social Media
About CFN Media Group
CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN) owns and operates CFN Media Group, the premier agency and financial media network reaching executives, entrepreneurs and consumers worldwide. Through its proprietary content creation, video library, and distribution via www.CannabisFN.com, CFN has built an extensive database of cannabis interest, assisting many of the world’s largest cannabis firms and CBD brands to build awareness and thrive. For more information, please visit www.cfnenterprisesinc.com.
Disclaimer: Matters discussed on this website contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, may from time-to-time have a position in the securities mentioned herein and will increase or decrease such positions without notice. The Information contains forward-looking statements, i.e. statements or discussions that constitute predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, estimates, or projections as indicated by such words as "expects", "will", "anticipates", and "estimates"; therefore, you should proceed with extreme caution in relying upon such statements and conduct a full investigation of the Information and the Profiled Issuer as well as any such forward-looking statements. Any forward looking statements we make in the Information are limited to the time period in which they are made, and we do not undertake to update forward looking statements that may change at any time; The Information is presented only as a brief "snapshot" of the Profiled Issuer and should only be used, at most, and if at all, as a starting point for you to conduct a thorough investigation of the Profiled Issuer and its securities and to consult your financial, legal or other adviser(s) and avail yourself of the filings and information that may be accessed at www.sec.gov, www.pinksheets.com, www.otcmarkets.com or other electronic sources, including: (a) reviewing SEC periodic reports (Forms 10-Q and 10-K), reports of material events (Form 8-K), insider reports (Forms 3, 4, 5 and Schedule 13D); (b) reviewing Information and Disclosure Statements and unaudited financial reports filed with the Pink Sheets or www.otcmarkets.com; (c) obtaining and reviewing publicly available information contained in commonlyknown search engines such as Google; and (d) consulting investment guides at www.sec.gov and www.finra.com. You should always be cognizant that the Profiled Issuers may not be current in their reporting obligations with the SEC and OTCMarkets and/or have negative signs at www.otcmarkets.com (See section below titled "Risks Related to the Profiled Issuers, which provides additional information pertaining thereto). For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice and that of their own professional advisers. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, may be compensated for its Services in the form of cash-based and/or equity-based compensation in the companies it writes about, or a combination of the two. For full disclosure, please visit: https://www.cannabisfn.com/legal-disclaimer/. A short time after we acquire the securities of the foregoing company, we may publish the (favorable) information about the issuer referenced above advising others, including you, to purchase; and while doing so, we may sell the securities we acquired. In addition, a third-party shareholder compensating us may sell his or her shares of the issuer while we are publishing favorable information about the issuer. Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this article contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority, and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, may from time to time have a position in the securities mentioned herein and will increase or decrease such positions without notice. For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice and that of their own professional advisers. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, may be compensated for its Services in the form of cash-based and/or equity- based compensation in the companies it writes about, or a combination of the two. For full disclosure please visit: https://www.cannabisfn.com/legal-disclaimer/.