Hound Labs, Inc., an Oakland, CA-based creator of a patent-pending marijuana breathalyzer, raised $8.1m in venture capital funding.
Benchmark made the investment and, in conjunction with it, Mitch Lasky, its general partner, will join the board of directors along with Dick Wolf, an early investor in Hound Labs and television writer and producer.
Led by CEO, Dr. Mike Lynn, Hound Labs develops a marijuana breathalyzer, which is expected to be an essential tool for law enforcement and employers, as it will measure the amount of recent THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) in breath, which can indicate if a marijuana user is currently impaired.
The underlying technology in the breathalyzer does not work like the technologies used in alcohol breathalyzers which are only sensitive enough to measure alcohol molecules in parts per thousand (1,000). Hound Labs’ invention measures THC molecules in breath in parts per trillion (1,000,000,000,000).
The company intends to use the funds to continue to start of clinical trials to verify the efficacy of its field-tested device. The first clinical trials began earlier this month at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). Kara Lynch, PhD, Co-director, Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory at SFGH, and Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine at UCSF is leading the research.
In addition to clinical trials, Hound Labs will continue to conduct field studies with law enforcement agencies in multiple cities across the country and plans to begin manufacturing +in the fourth quarter of 2017.