*This is not investment advice. Do your own research.*
It’s no secret that cannabis is being legalized very quickly. Each election cycle, several new states tend to consider whether or not marijuana should still be illegal. There are many compelling reasons that it should be removed from the list of controlled substances, including clear medical uses, low societal harm, adding to tax revenue, and removing a product from black markets. The plurality of states in the US have, in fact, now legalized marijuana for medical use and nearly 20 have legalized it for recreational adult use as well.
Whether you believe in the legalization of cannabis or not, you likely agree that driving while impaired on the substance is a problem. You likely also understand that the market opportunity for a marijuana impairment detection device is very large. Therefore, you may be interested in investing in the leading technology in this space. The need to keep impaired drivers off the road is an issue that everyone can get behind – it transcends politics, demographics, and many other issues. Similarly, businesses that employ workers in safety critical functions need a way to proactively ensure that employees are not impaired on the job. So why not just make a marijuana breathalyzer? Let’s find out.
Marijuana impairment is very difficult to detect.
So, maybe you’ve decided that investing in cannabis impairment detection technologies could be a wise move. What technology should you choose though? Unfortunately, the way that marijuana is metabolized by the human body is radically different from alcohol. Many scientific studies have tried to prove a correlation between the amount of THC (the impairing compound in marijuana) and marijuana impairment. All have failed. There are a few reasons for that; first, marijuana users are subject to extreme swings in usage-based tolerance to the drug. Heavy users can experience nearly zero impairment from the same amount of THC that would severely impact an infrequent user. That means that for equivalent amounts of THC in the body, the high experienced varies radically. Second, THC binds to fat cells in the body and is released over time, albeit in a non-psychoactive form. This is why THC can be detected in urinalysis tests for over a month after marijuana was last used. This confounds tests that simply measure THC in the body since it could be (and often is) the result of marijuana that was used long ago. And third, THC content in the body spikes immediately after smoking, but is rapidly expelled by the body in a way that does not mirror the high that users experience. That means that we cannot simply measure the amount of THC in the body to determine how high a user is. These challenges are confounding courts, law enforcement, and businesses as they try to keep their communities and businesses safe.
In light of these issues, what’s the right solution?
The problem of cannabis impaired drivers is large and getting worse. Each year, more and more cannabis users are taking to the roads in an impaired state. This is particularly common when paired with alcohol, which radically impairs decision making. Cannabis users that are inexperienced are also particularly prone to impaired driving since they often don’t know their limits and don’t have a good understanding of the drug’s effects. If we can’t measure THC to understand the impairment being experienced, how can we determine whether or not a cannabis user is safe to drive? The answer is to look at how a marijuana user’s body is responding to the drug. There are well understood ways in which cannabis effects reaction times, heart rate, balance, and eye movement. Therefore, if we can measure these, we can determine how each individual is responding and make a determination of safety.
The best technology for cannabis impairment seems to be detection of these symptoms of active impairment in the human body. Luckily, one company seems to have figured it out and is rolling their technology out. Gaize, a startup business in the United States, has developed automated eye tracking tests that can measure eye movement characteristics associated with cannabis impairment extremely accurately. The solution runs in a self-contained virtual reality headset, and takes about 5 minutes to complete. When tests are conducted, the police officer or test administrator gets not only a determination of cannabis impairment, but an eye tracking video that they can refer to later. Learn more by clicking the link below:
If you’d like to invest in Gaize, you’ll have to be an accredited investor since the company is still privately held. We’ll update this article when and if the company does an initial public stock offering. The most impressive thing about Gaize’s technology is that it’s extremely accurate when compared with the best trained human police officers. Due to the challenges of detecting cannabis impairment, the best trained officers are only around 80% accurate. Gaize meanwhile is much more accurate and provides clear video evidence to law enforcement officers.
What’s the science behind Gaize?
Gaize relies on the existing science behind the Drug Recognition Expert evaluation process to discover and classify marijuana intoxication. The tests the company performs are the exact same as the Drug Recognition Experts conduct, but the tests are conducted automatically and high precision data is captured throughout the process. These tests have been proven to be good at detecting marijuana intoxication by a variety of independent studies. The chart below illustrates the fact that simply measuring THC in the body cannot be correlated with intoxication. The radical spike and decline of smoked THC is not at all representative of the high that users experience, which comes on in the first 15 minutes, but persists for several hours.
Top 10 Gaize facts you should know:
- Gaize was founded in 2021 in Missoula, Montana, USA.
- The Gaize product uses virtual reality technology to precisely determine marijuana intoxication.
- Gaize is sold to both businesses with safety critical employees, and to police forces.
- Since the marijuana high is not correlated to THC content in the body, measuring THC in the breath, blood, or saliva is not an accurate way to detect impairment.
- Several notable Silicon Valley angels have invested in Gaize.
- Gaize captures extremely accurate eye tracking video and data using their testing process.
- Through the use of artificial intelligence algorithms, the Gaize product is significantly more accurate than human Drug Recognition Expert officers at detecting and determining cannabis impairment.
- Gaize provides video evidence of impaired eye movement to law enforcement officers.
- The Gaize product is self contained, and doesn’t require any additional computer hardware to operate.
- Eye movement characteristics such as those measured by Gaize have been proven to be sensitive to marijuana intoxication.
Conclusion: Gaize may be one of the most important cannabis technology companies in the world. Their marijuana impairment detection device is an extremely accurate and science backed solution. The company is working rapidly to meet demand for the product, and is working with cannabis researchers internationally to demonstrate the efficacy of their device. If you want to invest in Gaize, you’ll either have to be an accredited investor, or wait for their IPO, since the company is still privately held.
Thanks for reading! We hope this answered your questions about investing in marijuana impairment testing, and why breathalyzers are not a good solution to this problem.