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Canada reviewing second roadside cannabis test device

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OTTAWA — The company behind the second machine that could be approved for roadside drug tests in Canada says its product is faster and easier to use for police wary about the technology.

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Six months after the federal government legalized cannabis for recreational use, officers have expressed wariness about the one testing machine currently approved, called the Drager DrugTest 5000, and how its results might hold up in court.

In an interview, two officials from the company Abbott say their testing device, the “SoToxa,” has shown it can accurately use a saliva sample to test for drugs in a person’s system within five minutes and work in cold weather.

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They stress the device is an optional tool for police forces to use if they want to test for THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, before officers go through additional steps required to charge someone under Canada’s drug-impaired driving law.

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The handheld device is now in a 30-day public review window after the government posted its intention to allow police to use the device.

Afterward, if approved, the company says it has enough devices to fill orders and has training ready in both official languages.

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