Ohio Students Invent THC Detection Device
April 27th, 2015
Policy, Top News
Mariam Crow and Kathleen Stitzlein, two students at the University of Akron, won a $10,000 investors’ award for developing a sensor that they believe will enable police to determine in minutes if a driver is under the influence of marijuana.
“Today, if a driver is suspected of impaired driving due to marijuana, law enforcement officers must call an Emergency Medical Squad to the scene or take the driver to a local hospital for blood work,” said Stitzleim in a news release. “Lab results can take up to six weeks to come back, which is clearly not ideal.”
Using lab-on-chip technology and saliva-based testing, the graduate students believe the device can determine the concentration of THC – the psychoactive component of marijuana – in the bloodstream, providing police with a fast and accurate response. The legal limit in most states is five nanograms of THC for drivers, but police have no way to conduct these tests effectively right now.
The Cannibuster has already received Ohio Third Frontier funding for further prototyping, but it won’t be the only product on the market. Cannabix Technologies Inc. [stockquote symbol=BLOZF] (CSE: BLO) is developing a similar technology that functions more like a breathalyzer, similar to how the alcohol-detecting devices are already used by police forces around the world.
Earlier this month, the company released new images of the Cannabix breathalyzer and an updated video presentation for investors and the media. The alpha prototype is expected to prove the functionality, while a beta prototype will be released over the coming quarters to be tested in the field by law enforcement. With the testing, the firm aims to maximize THC sensitivity and the reliability of the device.
In the end, there’s a clear need for a marijuana breathalyzer device in order to keep the roads safe across the U.S. as new jurisdictions continue to legalize the drug.
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