Bay Area Startup Develops “World’s First” Marijuana, Alcohol Breathalyzer
A Northern California startup announced the closing of a $30 million funding effort to push forward with manufacturing the “world’s first dual marijuana and alcohol breathalyzer.” Hound Labs, an Oakland-based company, announced the business development Tuesday (Aug. 27), on the heels of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, concluding that breath testing is a “viable medium” of measuring marijuana intoxication.
“With the publication of clinical study results validating breath as the new frontier for testing recent use of THC, investors can see the tremendous value that Hound Labs will bring to the market with its first-of-its-kind technology,” said Dr. Mike Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Hound Labs. “We are excited to usher in a new era of more meaningful and fair drug testing now that marijuana is both medically and recreationally available to so many people.” Lynn, a former deputy sheriff, physician and venture capitalist, founded Hound Labs with his wife, Jenny.
Thanks to investors including Law & Order creator, Dick Wolf, and multiple venture capital firms, Hound Labs has raised a total of $65 million according to Business Insider. The device is touted as an “ultra-sensitive technology for non-invasive breath measurement,” and went through several rounds of funding before meeting the multi-million dollar for manufacturing. The five-year-old company is currently transitioning into its “next phase of commercial manufacturing” in preparation of meeting “growing worldwide demand” from law enforcement, employers and insurance groups. Intrinsic Capital Partners, which funds technology-focussed businesses in the emerging cannabis industry, led the round of funding.
“Legalization of marijuana is disrupting multiple facets of society and creating a unique need for a technology that helps employers and law enforcement agencies detect recent marijuana use [within two to three hours of smoking], but doesn’t penalize people who legally and responsibly use marijuana,” said Howard Goodwin, partner at Intrinsic Capital Partners. “With commercial production of its marijuana breathalyzer already under way, Hound Labs is optimally positioned to meet the pent-up demand for the only tool that measures recent marijuana use without identifying someone who legally consumed marijuana the prior night or last weekend.”
Hound Labs hopes to begin selling the devices this winter.