Prominent VC firm backs cannabis breathalyzer startup

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A Silicon Valley venture capital firm with a successful track record in the tech industry announced that it’s throwing considerable finances behind a California startup that’s aiming to bring a marijuana breathalyzer to market.

Benchmark Capital – which previously funded successful startups including Dropbox, Uber and Snap – is leading a new $8.1 million round of fundraising for Oakland-based Hound Labs, according to Business Insider.

Clinical trials of Hound Labs’ new breathalyzer began earlier this month at San Francisco General Hospital, and the company is hoping the product will take off among law enforcement agencies and drug testing companies.

For instance, in Colorado the legal limit of active THC in a driver’s bloodstream is five nanograms, but the only reliable way for police to detect such levels is through a blood test, as opposed to a roadside breathalyzer for alcohol.

Hound Labs’ product will retail for between $600 and $1,000, Business Insider reported, and cartridges that store samples will cost about $15 apiece.