The product will be sold to law enforcement agencies, and businesses with safety-critical employees.
Gaize will use this seed capital to finalize the real-time cannabis impairment detection device and begin marketing it to law enforcement agencies.
Gaize, Inc. today announced the close of $1.2 million USD in seed capital for their non-invasive impairment detection platform. Beginning with cannabis, the company is creating a self-contained and portable product that can detect impairment in real-time.
The company, which was started in 2021, is led by Ken Fichtler, formerly the Director of Economic Development for the State of Montana. “The majority of US states have legalized cannabis, yet there’s no device that can detect active cannabis impairment. This immediately struck me as one of the most important unsolved problems in our society.” Fichtler will use the seed capital to hire for several key roles, as well as to finalize and launch the product. He continued, “Most people believe that cannabis should be legal, but they also agree that we need to have a way to know if people are too high to be driving or operating equipment. That’s the baseline for legalizing cannabis safely, and Gaize is the answer.”
Gaize is backed by notable Montana and Silicon Valley-based angel investors, including Fritz Lanman, CEO of ClassPass. About the funding, Mr. Lanman said “Gaize is building the cutting-edge technology we need to ensure that cannabis legalization happens in a way that maintains the safety of our roads and workplaces. I’m excited to play a role in bringing it to market.”
The Gaize device is a patent pending, self-contained and automated test that relies on machine learning to evaluate several measures of how cannabis impairment manifests in the body and impacts the brain. “People wanted to believe that, like alcohol, we could measure cannabis impairment by quantifying THC in the body. Unfortunately, THC is not metabolized or expelled by the body in a way that mirrors impairment. Many researchers have studied this, and all have concluded that we simply cannot measure THC in the body to understand active cannabis impairment.
That makes cannabis breathalyzers, blood and saliva tests useless for anything except detecting prior use. Now that cannabis is legal for most of the population, prior use is not a crime. We have to understand active impairment, just like we do with alcohol.” Fichtler said in describing the technology used in the tests.
By instead measuring how cannabis impacts normal bodily processes, Gaize can precisely measure experienced impairment in real-time. This will give law enforcement a reliable tool they can use to ensure that drivers are safe. It also provides a proactive testing methodology for businesses with safety- or security-critical employees. “In a workplace where safety is the priority, Gaize will allow employers to know if an employee is too high to be working, and can do so proactively. This is a game changer when compared with the only existing tests, which are retroactive and cannot measure impairment. Importantly, identifying active impairment as opposed to just prior use, also allows employees to safely use cannabis during their off-hours.”
For law enforcement customers, the Gaize product also provides video evidence of impairment from automatically performed tests. This piece of data has never been available to police before, which has caused severe challenges in prosecuting impaired driving cases. “With clear video from field sobriety eye tests that are conducted exactly according to the training manual, police and prosecutors now have a tool they can use to prove impairment in court,” said Fichtler.