The Legalization Of Cannabis For Broad Recreational Use Has Led To A Flood Of Innovation And Invention

Vaporizers seem to grow in quality and shrink in size by the month. Edibles are way beyond the legendary (but low quality) brownies that your dealer used to make. In Washington and Colorado, edibles now include everything from gluten free products and to gourmet chocolates, to soft drinks and lemon drops. The sky is the limit.

This creative revolution in cannabis is not limited to cannaprenuers. A team of scientists at Washington State University (WSU) are close to inventing a hand-held cannabis breathalyzer that would allow police officers to accurately test the active psychoactive cannabinoids in a person’s system. These devices will be most useful to determine whether a driver is impaired and thus driving high.

In Washington, driving while impaired by cannabis, alcohol, or any other drug is illegal under RCW 46.61.502. Both Colorado and Washington set the legal limit of active THC in a driver’s blood at 5 nanograms and any driver over this limit will most likely be charged with an impaired driving charge (a.k.a. a DUI). All US states have similar laws applicable to alcohol, and we expect that as legalization and decriminalization spread, so will similar laws specifically applicable to cannabis.

Keeping impaired drivers off of the roads, regardless of what they’ve been consuming, is in everybody’s best interest. Currently, police officers have to rely on blood tests to determine if a driver is over the legal THC limit. This process is costly, takes a lot of time, is (permissibly) intrusive on our Constitutional right to privacy, and has faced criticism as being inaccurate.

WSUs new technology is still only about 50% accurate and cannot tell how many active THC nanograms are in a drivers blood, but, with further development, these early prototypes could be very promising. Whether it is this device or another, we are excited by the idea of an impairment test that is more accurate, costs less, works faster, and is less intrusive to our Constitutional freedoms.

Gleam Laws expertise in intellectual property law and cannabis make us your absolute best choice to protect your inventions, products, and innovative businesses. Contact us to explore how we can protect you.