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Cannabis Breathalyzer May Soon Be a Reality

Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley are claiming a breakthrough in the race to develop an instant marijuana breathalyzer. The breathalyzer will begin clinical trials early next year.

Hound Labs has been collaborating with scientists at UC Berkeley to develop the technology. There have previously been no methods available for police officers to catch someone high on marijuana.

“The idea is that law enforcement will have one device out on the road to test for both THC and alcohol,” said Hound Labs CEO and founder Dr. Mike Lynn, an emergency room physician at Highland Hospital, in Oakland. Hound Labs Inc. announced, the breathalyzer will be an addition to the usual alcohol breath test.

The new invention will make it easier for law enforcement to catch suspected cannabis smokers. Until now, measuring the level of THC in the system is usually done with urine, blood or a saliva test, but does not accurately measure real-time impairment like a breath test would.

Hound Labs CEO Lynn hopes that the handheld device, which initially be tested by law enforcement agencies in San Francisco, will eventually be used nationwide.

“We plan to do clinical studies and also work with law enforcement on testing to make sure we have the exact device that’s really needed out there on street,” he said.

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