Colorado Grant $250K to Develop Marijuana Breathalyzer


I’ve written several articles in the past about researchers and research companies who are trying to develop a marijuana breathalyzer. One company, however, has been given a big boost from the state of Colorado to assist in their development of a marijuana breathalyzer.

Lifeloc Technologies, a company based out of Wheat Ridge who makes breathalyzers, has been granted $250,000 from the Colorado Office of Economic Development to develop a breathalyzer that assesses impairment of THC.

While law enforcement can detect THC in a person’s system, there is currently no way to determine the level of impairment, if any, of THC.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Colorado was one of two states who recently legalized recreation marijuana use (Washington being the other) and is hankering for a way to determine THC impairment.

Currently in those states that allow recreational marijuana, the legal limit for a DUI based on marijuana is five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. The problem with this bright-line standard is that a person could have five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in their system weeks after smoking. Unlike alcohol, marijuana is fat-soluble and stays in the body much longer than alcohol even after the user’s high is long gone. In other words, someone could be perfectly sober weeks after smoking, yet still be arrested for a DUI if THC is found in their system.

As part of the grant, Lifeloc Technologies will be required to match the funds given by the state.

“There is no equivalent of a marijuana breathalyzer today. Law enforcement does not have a fast, reliable and non-invasive THC impairment test available at roadside,” said Lifeloc president Barry Knott in a statement.

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