Recent Vermont Legislation Highlights Hurdles Surrounding Cannabis Impairment Testing -- CFN Media

SEATTLE, June 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CFN Media Group (“CFN Media”), the leading agency and financial media network dedicated to the North American cannabis industry, announces publication of an article covering Cannabix Technologies Inc. (CSE:BLO) (CNSX:BLO) (BLO.CN) (OTC:BLOZF)  and the development of its Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer that aims to solve the dilemma of cannabis impairment testing with an accurate, non-invasive, portable solution that could be used by law enforcement at roadside.

Vermont recently passed a bill to legalize adult-use of cannabis, with the new law set to take effect July 1. In an effort to bolster public safety amid concerns of cannabis-impaired driving, the state legislature introduced a bill to allow for the use of saliva tests as an alternative to the current system, which requires blood tests, a hospital visit, and a warrant. In a decision that highlights the conundrum public health officials face in regard to cannabis impairment, the Senate Judiciary Committee recently rejected the bill amid concerns of scientific validity, accuracy, and infringement on civil liberties. The Cannabis Marijuana Breathalyzer, in advanced development, offers a potential solution.

The Problems with Current Marijuana Testing

The chairman of the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dick Sears, raised two main issues with the current reliance on blood tests and the proposed saliva test solution. One is technical, and the other pertains to the civil requirement for a search warrant. The two problems intertwine into a vexing, circular problem.

First, the technical side. “My reason [for opposing the bill] was basically that the science isn’t there yet, and that I believe in a few years they will have a standardized test, particularly for marijuana, that would give us the amount that somebody would be impaired by,” Sears said.

Second, the civil rights side. “I would be fine with the oral fluid test if there was a warrant, like we have for blood. There’s a warrant [required] to take blood. It’s one thing to take a breath test, it’s another to take oral fluids or blood,” said Sears.

Unlike alcohol, which is absorbed and metabolized by humans in predictable and documented ways, marijuana in the blood is a bit more fickle. Different people metabolize the active ingredients at different rates. Forms of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, are stored in fatty tissues and can be detected long after ingestion, yet high concentrations of THC in the blood can dissipate quickly when compared to alcohol. By the time a warrant is obtained for either a blood or saliva sample those high levels of THC may have come and gone, making the tests nearly useless in many real-life field applications.

In short, there is a glaring need for accurate, timely testing of THC levels that does not require a warrant to execute. Fortunately, the current widespread and accepted use of the breathalyzer for alcohol detection provides a blueprint for the solution to the cannabis detection conundrum.

The Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer

Cannabix Technologies, in conjunction with researchers at the University of Florida, has developed a potential solution. Currently in advanced Beta 3.0 prototype form, the Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer utilizes cutting edge spectrometry technology to provide the sensitivity and accuracy necessary to overcome the complex technical issues surrounding THC, and THC metabolite, detection.

Again, it’s important to note the complexity of THC detection due to the various forms the drug can take when metabolized. Readers should click on the above-linked release to see a discussion of 11-nor-9 vs. 11-hydroxy-delta-9 versions of THC and their relative half-lives. Suffice to say, Cannabix is developing technology with the ability to detect and distinguish various THC metabolites which should go a long way toward distinguishing between recent users and those who may simply have lingering THC in their system.

Cannabix is diligently working its way through the scientific end of things, fine-tuning and proving the device’s sensitivity and reliability. The creation of a portable breathalyzer for THC would be a critical development in overcoming the civil liberty questions surrounding blood and saliva tests. With years of breathalyzer use on the books as precedent, use of the device should assuage any concerns that public health officials may have over violating civil rights. Combined with the immediacy of the roadside breathalyzer test, the Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer has the potential to solve the cannabis testing conundrum once and for all.

Please follow the link to read the full article:

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