Warren Tolman’s company developing pot breath test for drivers

Former Watertown state senator and representative Warren Tolman told Boston Herald Radio Wednesday about a new pot breath test that will be a tool for cops in identifying impaired drivers on the road.

Tolman, currently the director of business at Hound Labs, said his company is developing a marijuana breath test that will be sold commercially and to law enforcement agencies by the end of the year. “The device is so precise, it’s the equivalent of finding one drop of water in 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools,” he said.

Mike Lynn, a physician and a reserve deputy sheriff, founded the company in 2014 after he “saw on the road what he was seeing in the emergency room, and that is people driving impaired, and the result of it were injuries and sometimes fatalities,” according to Tolman.

The marijuana breath test would be able to detect whether someone had smoked marijuana or ingested a THC product within the prior two to three hours.

“This is a problem that employers are facing huge challenges in maintaining safe workplaces. And, you know, right now, if you test someone for marijuana, and they did something over the weekend, it may not stand up in court if you try to get rid of them,” Tolman said. “So employers are looking for that relevant test that says, ‘No, you get stoned immediately before coming to work or during your lunch hour and we can’t tolerate this’ in a workplace that requires safety.”

“This is a very, very complex device to create it. We spent over $30 million led by some of the top (venture capital) firms in Silicon Valley,” he said.

“There are 47 states and the District of Columbia that have implied consent for marijuana breathalyzer, and we don’t have it in Massachusetts, and it is a problem,” said Tolman, adding that he hopes the state Legislature will pass a bill to establish implied consent of a breath test for marijuana. “In other words, if today we had this device and we sold and the Boston police pulls you over, you could not take that test and have no ramifications. So that’s something I hope the Legislature, in their wisdom, looks at.”

Listen to the full Boston Herald Radio interview below:

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