Cannabix Technologies Inc. (CSE: BLO) (OTC Pink: BLOZF), a leader in marijuana breathalyzer development for law enforcement and the workplace, recently partnered with the University of Florida and the Yost Research Group to leverage its breakthrough high-field ion mobility and mass spectrometry technologies to develop a cutting edge breath detection device for tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and related psychoactive compounds.

With a growing number of states legalizing marijuana, there is strong demand from law enforcement for devices that can effectively detect psychoactive compounds in roadside tests to keep high drivers off the road. A number of studies have found that drivers who smoke marijuana within a few hours of driving are more likely to get into an accident than sober drivers, while 6.8% of people involved in accidents tested positive for THC.

A marijuana breathalyzer could provide a quick and easy way for law enforcement to target the problem, while potentially generating significant revenue for first-movers in the industry.

Detection of THC

The detection of THC has become a hot topic within the cannabis industry. While alcohol is water soluble and can be detected immediately in the blood stream, THC is fat soluble and can remain in the body for weeks, despite the user no longer feeling “high”. Some opponents to marijuana breathalyzers argue that these dynamics could make it impossible to ever determine if a driver is driving high or simply has residual THC in his or her body.

Cannabix is trying to solve these problems by creating a breathalyzer that would determine whether someone has THC in their system within the past two hours of consumption. If successful, the technology would provide a much better solution than cheek swabs that produce inaccurate results, as well as behavioral tests that rely on subjective opinion. The problem is that the technology has been quite elusive – until now.

The Yost Research Group has demonstrated the ability to detect ultra-low levels of THC in stimulated breath using their novel FAIMS cell in conjunction with mass spectrometry. In the past, professor Rick Yost has conducted research that involved over 100 graduate students, funded by over $40 million in grants, and which led to the publication of over 160 papers and 16 patents that have resulted in over $30 billion worth of instruments commercially sold. 

Potential Catalysts

Cannabix entered into a research and patent option agreement with the University of Florida and Yost Research Group, which provides them with the exclusive worldwide license to U.S. Patent 8,237,118 in the area of breath analysis of controlled substances and to work with Yost Research Group to develop THC-specific FAIMS-MS hand held devices

Investors in the cannabis industry, including companies like Vapor Corp. (OTC: VPOR) or Nhale Inc. (OTC: NHLE), may want to keep a close eye on the stock given the potential for catalysts in the form of test results and technology development updates. In addition, investors in Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) or Lab Corp. (NYSE: LH) may want to keep an eye on the stock as a much smaller play in drug testing that could grow over time.

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