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The marijuana breathalyzer: When will it hit the streets?

The marijuana breathalyzer: When will it hit the streets?

A marijuana breathalyzer is one step closer on its road to commercialization. Hound Labs Inc., an Oakland startup founded by an emergency room doctor/reserve deputy sheriff and a patent attorney, announced Tuesday that its handheld device that measures the presence of THC in breath successfully completed roadside field testing by law enforcement officers. The device

A marijuana breathalyzer is one step closer on its road to commercialization.

Hound Labs Inc., an Oakland startup founded by an emergency room doctor/reserve deputy sheriff and a patent attorney, announced Tuesday that its handheld device that measures the presence of THC in breath successfully completed roadside field testing by law enforcement officers. The device — which was developed in partnership with scientists at the University of California, Berkeley — was designed to detect impairment from recent THC consumption via smoking pot or ingesting edibles, Reuters and others have reported.

Hound Labs’ devices — similar in size to alcohol breathalyzers — were used in situations in which an officer suspected marijuana use or the driver admitted to recent cannabis use. If the drivers performed poorly in the field sobriety tests, they were asked if they voluntarily would blow into the handheld device, which then relayed the information to the docking station to conduct the chemical analysis.

“We were not trying to arrest people,” Lynn said. “To be very specific, we were trying to educate people about (how) it’s illegal to drive stoned.”

The Cannabist

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