New Technologies Could Help Law Enforcement Crack Down on Cannabis Abuse
FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
Nov 23, 2020, 09:00 ET
NEW YORK, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past several years, the cannabis industry has reached several milestones to almost completely redefine itself. Now, medical cannabis is predominantly being used to alleviate symptoms associated with afflictions such as chronic pain, cancer, and epilepsy. The legalization of medical cannabis and its decriminalization in some countries has also led to a significant decrease in the black market. People are now choosing to legally purchase their cannabis for medical as well as adult use. In the U.S, New Jersey became the most recent state where two key legislative budget committees advanced a recreational cannabis implementation measure. New Jersey voters recently legalized an adult-use marijuana market that is expected to generate annual sales of nearly a billion dollars by 2024, according to The Washington Post and marijuana advocacy groups. Abroad, the Mexican Senate last week approved a comprehensive adult-use marijuana legalization bill, yet the pending law still faces some hurdles before doors are fully open to business opportunities in Latin America's second-largest consumer market. Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO), Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) (TSX: APHA)
As the cannabis market grows in the United States, creative innovators and smart, opportunistic entrepreneurs are making their mark. Scores of innovations have debuted, with some unique to the cannabis industry while others with roots in legacy industries have taken hold in the marketplace. As sales of such products are becoming more prevalent, new and important regulations are expected to be implemented. Specifically, government regulators have voiced their concerns over the potential for cannabis abuse. As such, the need for a cannabis breathalyzer was understood. Government agents such as police officers can use the breathalyzer on someone who they may suspect is under the influence of marijuana. According to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, driving while under the influence of cannabis is 1.65 times more likely to cause an accident.
Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO) just reported breaking news that, "it plans to begin beta testing its version 3.0 THC Breath Analyzer ("THCBA") in southern California with an occupational health care provider located in Newport Beach. Cannabix expects to deliver its latest version of the THCBA to Alipour Medical Centre early in the new year. Alipour Medical Centre provides drug and alcohol testing services to a number of local employers in the state. The THCBA is an ideal device for employers and other markets who are seeking a way to quickly, easily and non-invasively test for recent use of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") - the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment. Cannabix will be seeking additional organizations for beta testing and welcomes interested parties to contact us via our website (cannabixtechnologies.com).
Employers everywhere are struggling with the limitations of current drug testing technology in identifying recent use of marijuana that may be causing impairment during work hours and differentiating this from recreational and medical use during nonwork hours/days.
The Cannabix device allows for more relevant THC detection from breath allowing employers to create an onsite regiment whereby they can perform pre-access testing for recent use of marijuana before and during work hours, instead of testing for drug use when employees are not at work. Cannabix will be beta testing its device in order to continue training the device's machine learning database and improve user experience through testing feedback. The THCBA has been built to provide easy to understand screen prompts for the positive and negative detection of THC in breath in a portable manner, and can be administered without extensive training.
Current forms of testing for marijuana use can identify THC ranging from minutes to days prior to actual use, making it impossible to show the difference between the two. Studies¹ have shown that breath is a better indicator of impairment than saliva, blood, or urine because THC is present in breath for a relatively short period of time (1-3 hours); whereas, it is excreted at detectable levels in other body fluids for many hours, days, or even weeks after smoking. This short time period of detection in breath aligns with the peak impairment window.
Dr. Nima Alipour, CEO of Alipour Medical Corp, stated, "We are very pleased to be using one of the world's first marijuana breathalyzers in our medical facility. We know first-hand how the legalization of marijuana has affected employers in our state. As occupational health practitioners based in Orange County, we understand the challenges that employers are facing in providing relevant drug testing for existing and new employees. We advise corporations on how best to keep their workforce safe; identifying safety issues as they pertain to impairment, while taking into account employee rights in an environment of state legalization. Alipour Medical prides itself on deploying cutting edge technology in our practice and we look forward to helping with research, and ultimately beta testing devices alongside Cannabix Technologies in California."
Parties interested in working with Cannabix to beta-test its Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer are encouraged to contact the Company at [email protected]"
(1) Olla P, Ishraque MT, Bartol S. 2020. Evaluation of Breath and Plasma Tetrahydrocannabinol Concentration Trends Postcannabis Exposure in Medical Cannabis Patients. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Res.; 99-104.
Himes S. et al. 2013. Cannabinoids in Exhaled Breath following Controlled Administration of Smoked Cannabis. Clinical Chemistry; 1780–1789.
Beck O, Sandqvist S, Dubbelboer I, Franck J. 2011. Detection of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in exhaled breath collected from cannabis users. J Anal Toxicol; 35:541– 4.
Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) announced last week the launch of Edison RE:MIX dissolvable cannabis powder. RE:MIX is the latest innovation from the Company's Edison brand portfolio of products, offering Canadian adults the opportunity to enjoy cannabis their way. The convenient pre-packaged powder format makes it easy to mix Edison RE:MIX into beverages quickly and discreetly, so the product can be enjoyed, based on the consumer's own preference, in a wide variety of settings and on occasions of their choosing. "Edison RE:MIX showcases the creativity, focus, and expertise of Organigram's product development team and reinforces our company commitment to growth through innovation," says Greg Engel, CEO, Organigram. "We have developed a process and product that blend science and individual tastes to help adult Canadians explore new, personal cannabis experiences."
HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) announce earlier this month that Trent MacDonald's security clearance request under the Cannabis Act has been granted by Health Canada. As previously announced, Mr. MacDonald had been appointed to the Company's executive leadership team in the acting role of Chief Financial Officer, with his permanent role as Chief Financial Officer to commence upon the successful completion of Health Canada's security clearance process for key personnel. With his security clearance having been granted, Mr. MacDonald now moves into a permanent role as Chief Financial Officer. "HEXO is now in a very strong financial position, having already taken the impairments and write-downs that continue to plague the cannabis industry, while also having plenty of working capital and cash," said Trent MacDonald. "I am excited to join the Company as we move towards positive EBITDA, positive operational cash flow and clear a path for sustained profitability on a per share basis. I am thrilled to be contributing to HEXO's strategic and operational initiatives as the Company is relentlessly pursuing a top market position in Canada, while I believe we are extremely well positioned to take advantage of an ever-evolving U.S. market, especially through Truss Beverages, our joint venture with Molson Coors."
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) introduced earlier this year its proprietary Mood Ring cannabis brand for the Canadian market. The Mood Ring brand and product line will officially launch in select Canadian markets this fall to meet consumer demand for high-quality, affordable and environmentally friendly cannabis products. "Mood Ring is directly aligned with our strategy to move closer to the consumer and drive our growth with unique, high-quality and affordable health and wellness branded products," said Michael Cammarata, Chief Executive Officer of Neptune Wellness Solutions. "Our initial launch of Mood Ring will focus on CBD and THC products that we can immediately scale up to support the volumes required to meet demand, with future products in development. We intend to price our products to be competitive with the illicit market, which will provide legal options for legacy consumers that meet their needs and expectations, while attracting new consumers in a friendly and approachable way."
Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) (TSX: APHA) announced earlier this year its financial results for the first quarter ended August 31, 2020. All amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise noted and except for per gram, kilogram, kilogram equivalents, and per share amounts. "Our strong first quarter results reflect the continued robust growth and development of Aphria's adult-use cannabis brands in Canada," said Irwin D. Simon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are consistently taking a diversified approach to our innovation, strategic partnerships, global expansion and corporate citizenship to fuel sustainable, long-term growth. We believe that the strength of our balance sheet and cash position, combined with our consistent focus on our highest-return priorities, will generate sustainable long-term value for all stakeholders." The Company reported Record gross revenue for adult-use cannabis of $69.6 million in the first quarter, an increase of 23% from prior quarter and the sixth consecutive quarter of growth.
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