Y Combinator bets on a startup building a weed breathalyzer for cops
Y Combinator has kept an eye on cannabis startups over the years, but it’s their latest investment that’s sure to attract the attention of both marijuana users and law enforcement.
SannTek Labs, which is launching with new funding out of Y Combinator’s latest jumbo class of startups, is building a new kind of breathalyzer that can detect blood-alcohol levels but can also determine how much cannabis a person has smoked or otherwise consumed in the past 3-4 hours.
CEO Noah Debrincat say that he wants the startup’s SannTek 315 breath testing device to help officers make stronger “evidence-based decisions” rather than only relying on unsophisticated roadside sobriety tests or blood tests which can potentially take months to get results for and can lead to false positives by detecting cannabis use that took place several days prior to the test.
The SannTek breathalyzer detects the cannabis molecules in your breath, and gives a police officer a readout that lets them know if you have the drug in your system.
“We are specifically detecting Delta-9 THC, which is the predominant psychoactive component of cannabis,” Debrincat tells TechCrunch. “We understand how that gets into your breath. We understand what it does to
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