Speed Reads


A California company is making a breathalyzer for marijuana

Starting next year, law enforcement officials and curious smokers alike will be able to buy marijuana breathalyzers, NBC Bay Area reported Tuesday. Hound Labs, a start-up based in Oakland, California, developed the product in anticipation of the Golden State's legalization of recreational marijuana on Jan. 1, 2018.

Hound Labs' breathalyzer measures the amount of THC — the main psychoactive compound in marijuana — present in a person's breath. The device could revolutionize law enforcement's ability to accurately identify stoned drivers, as other methods of testing like urine tests and hair tests do not account for how long the drug has been in a driver's system, NBC Bay Area explains.

By comparison, Hound Labs' breathalyzer, which is one of two prominent breathalyzers that is coming to market soon, is able to give a more accurate assessment of a smoker's inebriation because of its unique method of measuring THC. Where other methods test only for marijuana's presence in a person's system — which can be misleading, given THC's ability to linger in the body — Hound Labs' device instead works by measuring particles of THC present in a driver's breath in parts per trillion.

The Hound Labs breathalyzer is expected to cost between $500 and $1,000. Take a look at the product here.