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Quest Becomes Exclusive Validator For Results From The Hound Cannabis Breathalyzer

Hound Labs, creator of the Hound Cannabis Breathalyzer, entered into an agreement with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), a provider of diagnostic information services.

Benzinga · 09/14/2022 08:34

Hound Labs, creator of the Hound Cannabis Breathalyzer, entered into an agreement with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX), a provider of diagnostic information services. The agreement establishes Quest as the exclusive provider of laboratory services for confirmatory testing of positive breath sample results generated by the Hound Cannabis Breathalyzer, used by employers on location as an objective measure to detect and deter cannabis use during the workday.

The Hound Cannabis Breathalyzer, identifies cannabis used within hours of testing and automatically processes results on-location within minutes. Negative test results indicate an employee is not likely to have used cannabis immediately preceding or during the workday. Under the terms, Quest Diagnostics will use a novel mass spectrometry technique it recently developed and validated at its Lenexa, KS, laboratory to confirm positive results from the Hound solution. Quest’s new technique is designed to match the level of sensitivity developed by Hound Labs to detect THC, the principal psychoactive compound in cannabis, in breath samples.

Increasing cannabis legalization creates additional complications for employers as conventional cannabis testing methods – including oral fluid, urine, and hair – have windows of detection extending days, weeks, or months after use. Testing breath for cannabis using the Hound Cannabis Breathalyzer isolates detection of THC to hours after use, aligning with research conducted by the University of California, San Francisco.

The use of cannabis has surged in recent years. According to the 2022 Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index (DTI), positivity for marijuana in urine testing for the general workforce in 2021 was 3.9%, a 20-year high. Quest also reported in the 2022 DTI that oral fluid positivity for marijuana increased about 20% in 2021 to 14.8% of those tested.
“While marijuana use is a concern to employers focused on fostering workforce health and safety, its legalization in several states may challenge some employers struggling to hire in tight labor markets,” stated Keith Ward, vice president and general manager of employer solutions for Quest Diagnostics. “The Hound solution is an important innovation because it will help employers detect and deter workday marijuana use most associated with safety risks, providing a new tool for employers to add to their suite of testing solutions.”

Hound Labs will begin delivering the Hound Cannabis Breathalyzer in late 2022.

Photo: Benzinga; Sources: courtesy of Matthias Zomer via Pexels, squarefrog via Pixabay