Neuro-diagnostic company Oculogica today announced the launch of OcuPro, the fastest roadside cannabis test with immediate results, and pilots with several police departments across the U.S.. Officers administer the 45-second long test and receive an immediate indication of recent cannabis use and impairment. The technology is based on studies in several hundred cannabis users which is in publication.
Current tests for cannabis rely on a urine, saliva or blood sample from the subject, and provide a measure of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis.
THC can remain in the body for months, long after the user is no longer impaired. OcuPro differentiates between recent use within 60-90 minutes vs. use over several hours ago. Oculogica CEO, Dr. Rosina Samadani, noted “Cannabis presence in the body does not equal impairment. Use is not illegal in many states. Driving while impaired, however, is. OcuPro addresses a huge unmet need for a scientifically and clinically validated test for impairment due to recent cannabis use.”
The device can be used in manufacturing facilities and workplaces, but law enforcement has the most immediate need. Data from the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center showed a 10% increase in impaired driving crashes the year after cannabis was legalized, according to Marisa Auguste, Research Assistant with the organization. Maryland Officer Jayme Derbyshire says, “With cannabis legalization becoming more commonplace throughout the nation, it is important that communities take action to ensure that traffic safety isn’t overlooked. With the potential for more impaired drivers, law enforcement needs to continue to improve roadside testing practices and roadside technology in order to keep roadways safe and to best determine the extent of driver impairment.”