The Continued Legalization of Cannabis Creates Need for Intoxication Detection Devices

6.9 min readPublished On: October 11th, 2022By

NEW YORK – Sales of Cannabis products are expected to continue to grow as more states and major markets ease accessibility. According to data published by MJBizDaily, the combined U.S. medical and recreational cannabis sales could reach USD 33 billion by the end of 2022, mainly driven by the opening of new adult-use markets. Overall, retail cannabis sales are projected to cross the USD 52 billion mark by 2026. The data also indicates that both medical and adult-use markets posted strong growth in 2021, up an estimated 34% and 43%, respectively, over 2020 sales. The outlook for the adult-use segment of the U.S. cannabis market is even stronger in the years to come as various states with the potential for massive markets, such as New York, are in the process of working out the final details to launch programs that have been approved. Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO), Tilray Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NASDAQ: ACB).

While cannabis legalization is expanding so does the need for better regulations. Cannabis use has been associated with cognitive and motor impairment, and some countries such as Canada have instituted THC cutoffs for drivers based on the psychoactive compound’s concentration levels in the blood. According to a report by NBC News, scientists from UCLA wrote in a study, “As such, there exists a need for a fair forensic tool capable of detecting THC in the short window of impairment… This is particularly true in states and countries where marijuana has been decriminalized or legalized, given that traditional testing could lead to fines, prosecution, imprisonment, or loss of employment, even if the individual is not impaired at the testing time.”

Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO) just announced breaking news that it will be participating in a mid-October study date to test a supplemental version of its FAIMS technology for detection of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol and related analytes in human breath in a comprehensive multi-analysis study of subjects under the influence of marijuana in the southern United States. Cannabix has participated in two testing day events held in two different US cities in June and July. The October event will be held in a new location. In the Southern US study, Cannabix is working alongside toxicologists and law enforcement officers who are testing subjects under the influence of marijuana. The Company’s technology (proprietary breath capture and marijuana detection equipment, described below) is being used side by side with several conventional drug screening methods including blood and oral fluid collection. Furthermore, a closed course driving test is planned for the mid-October study date to gauge impairment. Details of the study will be available in due course when disclosure approvals are granted to the Company.

Data from previous studies demonstrate a very consistent correlation of levels of THC in a direct comparison between breath samples collected and analyzed with Cannabix hardware and the current standard of whole blood. The Company’s handheld Breath Collection Unit (“BCU”, Fig. 1) and newly developed laboratory “MS Breath Sampler” (Fig. 2) are being used together to provide a new ground-breaking method for drug detection that complements gold-standard mass spectrometry (MS) and significantly simplifies laboratory analysis methods, reduces sample turnaround times (thus minimizing operating costs), while maintaining sensitive, precise results.

The Company has developed a unique breath capture system, capable of collecting low volatility analytes, such as THC, from a sample size of only approximately 5 breaths. In addition, the Cannabix device captures analytes efficiently such that the sample preparation steps needed in traditional methods are entirely eliminated.  The system has detected and confirmed THC in breath out to 4 hours after smoking with breath samples being stored and analyzed up to two days after sample collection.

THC in Breath & Blood Data – Cannabix has been actively participating in breath-blood studies over the course of the year – completing experiments in Ontario (see press release from May 9th, 2022) and alongside law enforcement in the southern US in June and July (see press releases from July 12th and August 25th, 2022). The study results show that breath levels of THC over time are consistent between subjects, and data demonstrate consistent correlation of levels of THC between breath and whole blood in early time points after smoking.

Study Importance – With its participation in these blood-breath correlation studies, the Company is building an important body of real-world breath data of various cannabis users, taken using cutting-edge hardware developed by Cannabix.  These data significantly increase accuracy of recency of use by metabolism measurements.  Blood is currently the standard of measurement for drug determination by law enforcement and toxicologists, and is used as objective evidence of possible impairment in courts of law…”

Tilray Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) announced on August 25th. that its medical cannabis division, Tilray Medical, has released new medical cannabis products, under Tilray and Aphria brands and launched CannaPoints, a new program designed to support patients through their medical cannabis journey. Blair MacNeil, President, Tilray Canada, said, “We’re proud to expand our medical cannabis portfolio in Canada and broaden our offerings for our growing patient community. Our new CannaPoints program serves to guide our patients on their medical cannabis journey and provide additional support as needed.”

Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC) and Lemurian, Inc., a California-based producer of high-quality cannabis extracts and pioneer of clean vape technology, announced on May 18th, that they have entered into definitive agreements providing Canopy Growth, by way of a wholly-owned subsidiary, the right to acquire, upon federal permissibility of THC in the U.S. or earlier at Canopy Growth’s election, up to 100% of the outstanding capital stock of Jetty. “Canopy Growth is building a house of premium cannabis brands with a focus on the core growth categories that will power the market’s path forward, now including Jetty – a pioneer of solventless vapes,” said David Klein, CEO, Canopy Growth. “There are significant opportunities for Jetty to scale at the state-level across the U.S. by leveraging Canopy’s U.S. ecosystem, and we’re actively working on plans to bring the brand to the Canadian recreational market.”

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) announced on June 27th, the launch of the first of what is expected to be a range of products, in partnership with Geocann, which will utilize the advanced VESIsorb® delivery system. This technology provides better bioavailability and faster absorption. VESIsorb® formulations have set the industry benchmark in peer-reviewed published studies, delivering superior pharmacokinetic performance, including fast absorption, higher plasma concentration, and greater area under the curve. “We are committed to bringing breakthrough innovations to the market, providing consumers with differentiated and high-quality products,” said Mike Gorenstein, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cronos. “Working with Geocann’s technology enables us to expand our product offering to bring consumers a fast-acting cannabinoid product with a quicker onset than previously available, along with improved efficacy, helping enhance and differentiate effect and experience.”

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NASDAQ: ACB) announced on August 25th, that a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company has acquired a controlling interest in Bevo Agtech Inc., the sole parent of Bevo Farms Ltd., one of the largest suppliers of propagated vegetables and ornamental plants in North America. Concurrent with closing of the Bevo Transaction, Bevo entered into an agreement to acquire the Company’s Aurora Sky facility in Edmonton, Alberta through the acquisition of one of Aurora’s wholly-owned subsidiaries. “This investment once again demonstrates our disciplined capital allocation approach and is consistent with both our short-term needs and long-term vision to be the leading global cannabis company. Bevo’s track record in generating not only positive Adjusted EBITDA but free cash flow, world-class propagation expertise, and established distribution networks in Canada and the United States makes them an ideal strategic partner,” said Miguel Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. “We expect this investment and collaboration between industry leaders will drive significant shareholder value and synergies for both parties. We are also excited about Bevo repurposing Aurora Sky and the potential to expand the scale and scope of their business and saving significant costs previously expected in connection with the wind down and sale of the facility”.

(This information is primarily sourced from FinancialBuzz.com.  Highly Capitalized has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. Read our Disclaimer here).

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