As more states legalize marijuana and major cities like New York loosen cannabis possession enforcement policies, investment in the cannabis industry and weed-related products are on the rise. One product in the works, though, isn't aimed at consumers in the marijuana-friendly markets, but rather at law enforcement intent on catching impaired drivers. It's a marijuana breathalyzer called Cannabix, and its makers describe the product as a "non-invasive drug impairment recognition system."
Revealed this week at the at the National Marijuana Business Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the product is still in its concept-rendering stage, but its makers appear to be serious about getting the device to market.
"We are developing a prototype of the breathalyzer," Rav Mlait, the CEO of Cannabix Technologies, told Mashable. "We started development during the summer of this year."
Although the concept product has yet to be publicly demonstrated as a working device, the idea was inspired, in part, by the very real work done by Dr. Olof Beck at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Beck detailed a method for the detection of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the key ingredient in cannabis, in exhaled breath in a 2010 paper in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
"We felt it was important to show our shareholders and interested parties that have contacted us the progress that we've made," says Mlait. "We'll be targeting the states that have zero tolerance for having THC in your system."
Rather than bringing the device straight to the public, the idea is to make the marijuana breathalyzer available to law enforcement and large businesses first.
"However, we have received interest as to retail use," says Mlait, "and we'd like to make it available for retail use as well."
Because it's still in development, no price or release date has been set, but the company hopes to get Cannabix to market by late 2015.
Mashable/Nov. 16, 2014