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Top Questions from Safety-Sensitive Employers

By TRICIA O'CONNOR
Director of Content
Hound Labs, Inc.

Feb 17, 2022

Oil and gas industry employers recently attended Day with DISA Global Solutions, Inc. and asked questions about Hound Labs’ approach to cannabis testing.

It’s not easy running large safety-sensitive operations that depend on large numbers of safety-sensitive contractors. From acquiring and retaining top talent to navigating complex cannabis legalization reform, it can be challenging to build and maintain a culture of safety.

That’s why it’s so important for our team at Hound Labs to participate in events like Day with DISA, the largest employee screening conference in North America. Day with DISA is organized by DISA Global Solutions, Inc. an organization that provides a wide array of safety and compliance solutions to the oil and gas industry among others.

FINDING COMMON GROUND 

Events like these bring together thousands of HR personnel and safety managers from across several safety-sensitive industries so they can find the information they need about the rapidly changing employee screening industry. One of the best things about the work we do at Hound Labs is meeting with these professionals to gain a better understanding of how we can help them address their biggest challenges.

This year, we talked about testing breath for cannabis and how a solution such as the highly sensitive HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER can provide additional information about recent cannabis use. The ultra-sensitive HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER measures THC in breath for only a few hours after smoking which correlates with the window of peak impairment1. Test results are received on location within minutes, allowing employers to make more informed decisions and allowing employees to return to work sooner.

TOP FIVE QUESTIONS 

Safety-sensitive employers grappling with an extremely tight labor market immediately realized how this solution could positively impact their workplaces, but of course, had some questions. Here are the top questions (and answers) we received from attendees.

1. Does your solution detect all types of THC? What about products with CBD in it?

Hound Labs: We designed the Hound® solution to detect only the THC molecule (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis). The HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER measures a combined amount of THC in breath samples.

THE HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER does not detect CBD because it has a different molecular structure than THC.

You can read more about our scientific research and testing here.

2. Does your solution also work if someone consumes cannabis in edible form or uses a topical cream?

Hound Labs: The Hound® solution detects THC that has moved into the lungs from the bloodstream. If an individual ingests THC (regardless of how it’s consumed) at a high enough quantity, it’s possible that an individual’s breath sample may indicate a non-negative result.

3. Does the HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER use an impairment standard like alcohol breathalyzers use a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?

Hound Labs: Five states have adopted what is called a per se standard under which a driver could be detained and arrested if THC levels in blood are equal to or above a prescribed limit. However, this standard applies to THC detected in only blood, not in breath and these are laws that only apply to the operation of a vehicle, not in the employment context. Unfortunately, THC remains detectable in blood well beyond the window of impairment. This means that some people will have positive results for cannabis in their blood sample after impairment subsides.

No municipal or state governments have established legal limits for THC in breath. Time is a more likely significant factor than the level of THC in breath when it comes to determining impairment. Global researchers have determined that people are most impaired for 2-3 hours after smoking cannabis and have not linked it to levels of THC in breath, blood, urine, or hair.

4. When will your solution be readily available?

Hound Labs: We anticipate that we will begin delivering initial inventory to contracted customers from our Wait List in late 1Q22. Join the Wait List to help ensure your organization has the opportunity to reserve a HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER before general availability. Information from our Wait List will help us match supply with demand. If you’re interested in purchasing the Hound® solution, we encourage you to start there.

5. Okay, your product sounds great. But we have employees in different states and these states all have different legalization laws. Who can help us figure out how to write a multi-state drug-free workplace policy?

Hound Labs: There are several law firms that work with employers to help them navigate cannabis reform and to develop workplace drug testing policies. This blog from the firm McGuireWoods provides some considerations for employers. In addition, we recently co-hosted a webinar with Ogletree Deakins about how cannabis breath testing meets the needs of employers searching for a new drug testing solution that keeps employees safe and stays within the bounds of cannabis reform legalization. You can watch that ON-DEMAND webinar here.

WHERE IS HOUND LABS SPEAKING NEXT? 

Our team of drug testing, medical, safety, and compliance experts are some of the most sought-after speakers. If you’d like one of our experts to attend your event, please contact us here. Otherwise, you can keep tabs on where Hound Labs has presented on our Events and Partnerships page.