Denise Valenti of IMMAD (Impairment Measurement Marijuana and Driving) is an optometrist by training with a background in blind rehabilitation sensory impairment. Her company’s technology is designed for use by law enforcement to determine if someone is too high from marijuana to safely drive a car.
After initially struggling to raise funds (her company was mis-labeled as a marijuana business), Valenti reported that she has since earned a federal contract with the NIH to develop IMMAD’s technology.
“It’s still hard to do research legally and ethically with marijuana, so that’s our biggest barrier now,” she explained.
For Valenti, one of the immediate benefits of the IGNITE program were the lectures on critical topics like intellectual property.
“Our goal for the year, since we now have a working prototype, is to have at least two municipalities or systems use the technology on a regular basis,” she said.