Cannabix Technologies Inc.(CSE: BLO, OTC PINK: BLOZF) developer of the Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer for law enforcement and the workplace, is pleased to provide a development update on its FAIMS Beta 2.0 (field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry) based marijuana breathalyzer for the detection of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) in human breath. Development in Gainesville, Florida and Vancouver, BC is progressing well and the Company expects to begin pre-trial live subject testing during the month of March.
Since introducing the Beta 2.0 version of the Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer in late 2016, Company scientists have been engaged in developmental testing, method development, and continuously improving the design of the device. At the same time, experiments have been done with THC to characterize the individual parts of the instrument and improve the efficiency of human breath collection and sampling.
The Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer consists of proprietary components including a generator enabled by the latest chip technology to provide extremely fast high-voltage square wave transitions that significantly improve chemical separations, and a novel plasma ionization source that provides efficient ionization with a relatively small footprint. The Company anticipates completing developmental testing of the Beta 2.0 device within the next month while preparing for preliminary human subject testing.
Various technical leaps have been made with several components over the last 3 months. In particular, the dielectric barrier discharge ionization source (“DBD”) which allows efficient ionization with relatively low voltages, has been significantly optimized in every aspect of the source (sizes, geometries, and materials) leading to significantly smaller instrument footprint. In addition, the high-voltage square wave generator (“HVSW”) which causes ions to oscillate rapidly at a high frequency between the FAIMS electrodes, to create separation from each other, has been drastically improved.
The Company is working with its Vancouver based engineering firm to ruggedize and refine its breath collection component (i.e. the collection tube where users breathe into the breathalyzer). In particular, engineers are testing a very exciting proprietary flow-through heat exchanger technology that stabilizes breath temperature in extreme cold as well as humid temperature settings.
In December, a special Task Force set up by the Government of Canada to review the future regulation of recreational cannabis in Canada, issued a report, where the among other things, emphasized the issue of marijuana impaired driving as a critical issue and presented a host of specific recommendations to provincial Ministers across Canada, including:
- Supporting the development of an appropriate roadside drug screening device for detecting THC levels, and invest in these tools;
- Determining whether to establish a per se limit as part of a comprehensive approach to cannabis-impaired driving and re-examine per se limits should a reliable correlation between THC levels and impairment be established;
- Investing in baseline data collection and ongoing surveillance and evaluation in collaboration with provinces and territories.
The Government of Canada, is expected to table marijuana legalization legislation in the spring. The Company will use key metrics and guidance from Drugs and Driving Committee (DDC), which is an advisory body to the Canadian Department of Justice on issues relating to drug-impaired driving and has been given a mandate to develop reports regarding drugs that are proposed for zero-tolerance and per se legislation, including cannabis.
About Cannabix Technologies Inc.
Cannabix Technologies Inc. is a leader in marijuana breathalyzer development for law enforcement and the workplace. Cannabix has established breath testing technologies in the pursuit of bringing durable, portable hand-held tools to market to enhance detection of marijuana impaired driving offences on roads at a time when marijuana is becoming legal in many jurisdictions globally. Cannabix is working to develop drug-testing devices that will detect THC- the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes intoxication- using breath samples. This technology would be used to provide detection of use of THC at the roadside to identify drivers intoxicated by the recent use of marijuana. In particular, Cannabix is focused on developing breath testing devices for detection of recent use of THC, in contrast to urine testing for THC metabolite that requires an invasive collection and reflects use days or even weeks earlier. The devices will also be useful for other practical applications such as testing employees in the workplace where intoxication by THC can be hazardous.