Buzzkill Labs (“Buzzkill”), developer of the world’s first rapid saliva test for psychoactive THC, today announced the close of an oversubscribed Series A funding round co-led by Poseidon and existing investors. Buzzkill will use the proceeds from the financing to commercialize its technology, which fills employers’ critical need to maintain safe workplaces while respecting the dignity of employees who legally use cannabis outside of work.
Before now, the available tests for THC often utilized urine samples and outdated technologies that detect past use, cross-react with non-impairing compounds like CBD, and are prone to adulteration. Buzzkill’s proprietary technology performs on-site detection of psychoactive THC in saliva (oral fluid) samples in less than 15 minutes. The platform, initially deployed in workplace safety applications, enables employers with safety-sensitive roles to identify the use of cannabis during or immediately before work hours.
This month the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published an update to their drug testing policy to include oral fluid testing. This action harmonizes the DOT policy with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) policy, guides DOT-regulated testing, and has a strong influence on non-regulated workplace drug testing programs.
“The world is moving steadily toward broad cannabis legalization, and the current cannabis testing technology is obsolete,” said Buzzkill’s CEO, Jeff Heimburger. “The Buzzkill platform gives employers a way to deter on-the-job use of THC for safety-sensitive roles – such as vehicle operators and hazardous materials handlers – in a way that is fair to employees who legally consume cannabis on their own time.”
George Farquar, Ph.D., Buzzkill’s CTO added, “Our platform separates and detects the psychoactive THC parent compound from more than 100 cannabinoids, with analysis that ensures the results will stand up under scrutiny. DOT authorization is significant validation and is likely to accelerate adoption of oral fluid as the preferred sample type even more than we have experienced to date.”
Buzzkill also announced the appointment of Patrick Rea, Managing Director of Poseidon Garden Ventures, to its Board of Directors. “We are delighted to welcome Patrick to the board and are encouraged by the strong signal Poseidon’s investment in Buzzkill sends to the market,” said Joshua Silber of Tuscan Management, an investor and member of the board.
“We are proud to partner with Buzzkill Labs as they address an urgent market need to ensure safe workplaces that are fair for employees,” stated Rea. “Employers in states with legal cannabis are desperate for a solution to help them comply with legislation that prevents discrimination against employees who enjoy cannabis products when they are not at work. We are excited that Buzzkill is introducing the first product that truly helps solve this growing problem.”
About Buzzkill Labs
Founded in 2018, Buzzkill Labs (Buzzkill) has developed patented technologies for rapid, cost-effective detection of organic compounds. Buzzkill’s proprietary oral fluid collection device combined with gold-standard chromatography-based analysis delivers the highest specificity and sensitivity on the market. Headquartered in Livermore, CA, Buzzkill capitalizes on the rich talent pool and startup-friendly environment of the Tri-Valley and San Francisco Bay Area.