Toronto-based Cultivar Holdings has launched a new tested artificial intelligence technology (“PredictMedix”) that it says will revolutionize how companies and law enforcement are able to test sobriety by detecting impairment for alcohol and cannabis. The company recently went public and its shares began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE:CULT).
Shares have already seen a spike as the word gets out about Cultivar Holdings’ PredictMedix technology, as well as other business endeavors focused on cannabis that includes low cost grow operations in Jamaica.
The PredictMedix artificial intelligence technology uses facial and voice recognition to identify cannabis and alcohol impairment. The company says that it has filed US patents while also having recently signed agreements with two multi-billion-dollar conglomerates. Workplaces are said to be particularly interested in the new impairment technology.
Research has found that THC detection via a breathalyzer or any other methodology cannot work for cannabis impairment because THC lacks correlation with impairment. The latest US Congressional report has also indicated that THC has no correlation with impairment and any technology to detect THC in breath or bodily fluids will not identify impairment. Several researchers, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have observed that using a measure of THC as evidence of a driver’s impairment is not supported by scientific evidence to date. Moreover, someone can take THC pills and be highly impaired and this will not show up in any breathalyzer.
Cultivar Holdings’ AI based PredictMedix technology is able to detect impairment by identifying cannabis and alcohol impairment using artificial intelligence powered technology based on multiparametric approach to identify unique features based on facial and voice recognition. Cultivar Holdings recently signed a teaming agreement with Tech Mahindra, which is a multi-billion-dollar technology player with global operations that was ranked among top 15 IT companies by Forbes magazine. Tech Mahindra’s global client base includes companies in mining, manufacturing, automotive sector where impairment is a huge concern. Their interest in the technology stems from the unmet need for impairment detection tools in workplace.
Cultivar Holdings also recently signed an agreement with Hindalco, one of the world’s largest aluminum players, which also owns Novelis. They are part of the parent corporation Aditya Birla Group which has annual revenues exceeding $44 billion USD. Hindalco is looking to pilot Cultivar Holdings’ AI based PredictMedix technology in Hindalco’s mining division and subsequently explore business opportunities together in mining.
In 2020, Cultivar Holdings will launch its first product for workplace impairment, targeting both cannabis and alcohol. The technology will be backed by a study of more than 3000 participants and is the largest of its kind. Cultivar Holdings says that it has clients ready to purchase and deploy the PredictMedix technology. Breathalyzers for alcohol lack utility in workplace whereas Cultivar Holdings’ facial/voice recognition technology can be easily deployed, according to the company. PredictMedix technology does not require any body fluids or human intervention, thereby helping to remove human error and the potential for discrimination and prejudice.
There are companies which are developing a breathalyzer for cannabis, designed to measure levels of THC. However, the state of Michigan officials decided not to set a THC level in blood or saliva to constitute impairment when driving. This is in recognition of numerous research studies showing very low or no correlation between THC level and impairment. Although, the breathalyzers will have the ability to identify presence of THC, the issue of impairment is not being addressed and impairment is the concern when it comes to workplace as well as law enforcement. It is the unmet need for identification of impairment which is being addressed by Cultivar’s PredictMedix technology.
In August of 2018, the Federal Minister of Justice approved the Drager Drug Test 5000 as the Approved Drug Screening Equipment (ADSE) for all Canadian police services. The device itself is costly ($6,000 per device, and $60 per swab) and has to be used under ideal conditions for proper analysis, according to experts.
The device tests for commonly used drugs in oral fluids including THC, which is the major psychoactive component in cannabis. Although the device may excel at identifying presence of THC, it does not address the issue of impairment specially when studies do not support a strong correlation between THC levels and impairment. Currently, there’s an urgent demand for a device to assist Canadian police officers in their drug impairment investigations which is where PredictMedix is likely to fill an unmet need.
Cultivar Holdings is in the process of initiating conversations with police services in Ontario along with several other jurisdictions for the roll out of PredictMedix technology for impairment. PredictMedix can be used in the initial stage of an impairment investigation where the officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has alcohol or drugs in their body. Time is of the essence with impairment investigations and are crucial to laying criminal charges.
Cultivar Holdings’ PredictMedix technology is considered to be a non-intrusive tool, which will be important to being accepted in workplaces and in law enforcement. The technology’s compact size allows for easy transport for a greater range of accessibility for personnel. Cultivar Holdings’ PredictMedix technology is also likely to better withstand court challenges given its high accuracy, leading to higher conviction rates.
A global expansion is expected and will be possible by encryption and cloud computing that will allow access to entities worldwide seeking to further improve roadway and workplace safety.
Cultivar Holdings is also focused on becoming a premier cannabis producer offering low-cost production targeting initially the Caribbean marketplace based in Portland, Jamaica, with plans to expand globally. That includes distribution of cannabidiols (CBD oils) and when laws permit, tetrahydrocannabinols (THCs) in Jamaica. The company has been granted four pre-licenses from the Jamaican government. These include Issuance of License to Cultivate, Process, Transport and for Retail from the Cannabis Licensing Authority in Jamaica.
There is an unmet need for cannabis impairment detection in both workplace and for law enforcement. The use of breathalyzers cannot solve the problem due to the lack of THC detection with impairment and as such Cultivar Holdings’ PredictMedix technology is expected to be pathbreaking and disruptive since it is truly addressing the global issue of cannabis as well as alcohol impairment.