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Workplace Drug Impairment a Rising Concern as Marijuana Legalization Expands -- CFN Media

(March 21, 2018)

SEATTLE, March 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CFN Media Group ("CannabisFN"), the leading creative agency and media network dedicated to legal cannabis, announces publication of an article covering Cannabix Technologies Inc. (CSE:BLO) (CNSX:BLO) (BLO.CN) (OTC:BLOZF) and its development of the Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer. The device, currently in the Beta 3.0 stage of its evolution, is designed to give law enforcement and employers a tool to enforce public safety by reliably and conveniently testing, on site, for THC in the bloodstream.

As Canada lurches toward full legalization of adult-use marijuana, the devil appears to be in the details of rule drafting and implementation. One area that has gotten a lot of private- and public-sector concern recently is how to regulate and enforce workplace safety. Canada currently has no regulatory framework surrounding the use of cannabis and the resulting potential impairment. Everybody recognizes the potential problem, but there are a variety of opinions on how to deal with it. A major hurdle is that there is currently no approved method for testing cannabis impairment.

The Current Landscape

Full legalization is expected at some point in the summer of 2018. As it stands now, it looks like there will be no new federal rules on workplace impairment by that time. Among the issues complicating talks are workers’ privacy rights, previous court rulings on workplace testing, and the rights of medical marijuana patients to receive treatment and avoid discrimination for that treatment. But one of the biggest problems seems to be the lack of reliable cannabis testing.

As Jennifer McCurdy of the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce stated, “There isn’t a clear way to know if somebody is impaired. If someone is operating machinery, a vehicle and being in the workplace impaired that’s going to affect their work or the safety of the public… these tests have not been developed.”

One of the country’s largest insurers, Intact Financial Corp., noted in its discussion of recent company financial results some concerns about “higher frequency and severity of auto insured losses as a result of impaired driving” following legalization. Those concerns are amplified by employers of people operating heavy equipment and machinery, where an accident caused by an impaired employee could have a major financial and legal impact on the company. For instance, the B.C. Trucking Association is pushing for a workplace testing protocol, as well as one for roadside testing.

The Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer

Cannabix Technologies plans to provide a solution for both workplace and roadside testing protocols that can be used by private entities as well as law enforcement. In a January update, the company completed its Beta 3.0 prototype based on its FAIMS- (field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry) technology and is currently optimizing and characterizing the device’s performance measures both independently and coupled to a mass spectrometer.

Current tests for THC involve urine samples, time delays, and the potential for an impaired reading even when the drug was used days or weeks earlier. The development of a more accurate and portable device would likely go a long way toward breaking the logjam and allowing a fair and safe system of testing to be implemented, both for employers and for law enforcement.

The company has filed several patent applications around the technology, including some relating to an Ignition Interlock Device that would prevent an impaired driver from even starting the vehicle. Such a device should ease liability concerns for employers and insurers alike.

The Upshot

While the regulations and laws around the safety of cannabis use, both privately and in the workforce, remain a work in progress, Cannabix Technologies is working diligently on the development of a tool that could solve a major part of the problem. Accurate and timely testing of cannabis impairment is essential to any regulatory efforts, and Cannabix just may have the solution.

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About CFN Media

CFN Media (CannabisFN) is the leading creative agency and media network dedicated to legal cannabis. We help marijuana businesses attract investors, customers (B2B, B2C), capital, and media visibility. Private and public marijuana companies and brands in the US and Canada rely on CFN Media to grow and succeed.

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The above article is sponsored content. Emerging Growth LLC, which owns and CFN Media, has been hired to create awareness. Please follow the link below to view our full disclosure outlining our compensation:

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Frank Lane206-369-7050

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