Controlled Substances and Precursors

The University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and Purchasing Departments work together to manage the Controlled Substance Program in compliance with Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) regulations. This program allows UCSC personnel to conduct research and teaching activities with DEA controlled substances. If you have questions about this program, please contact the Controlled Substance Program Administrator.


A Google Site has been created for each Principal Investigator with a Controlled Substance Use Authorization. These sites include easy access to personnel and approved materials, as well as online forms for adding additional personnel. 

General Information

Frequently Asked Questions 

Precursor Frequently Asked Questions 

UCSC Controlled Substance Program

The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Controlled Substance Program describes the special requirements and procedures applicable to the procurement, storage, use, transfer, disposal, and inspection of Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Controlled Substances used for research and teaching activities at all UCSC locations. The program also describes procedures applicable to chemicals that can be used for illicit manufacture of controlled substances (precursors).

UCSC Controlled Substance Program

Federal law regulates the manufacture, distribution, use, storage and disposition of controlled substances. Controlled substances generally include narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substances. 

DEA Controlled Substances

Registration & Forms

The first step in acquiring controlled substances for use in research is completion of the "Controlled Substance Use Authorization" form. This form is completed by the Principal Investigator, signed by the Department Chair, then approved by EH&S. Information requested on this form is required by the DEA for use of controlled substances. The CSPA will create a Google Site specifically for the PI and their authorized users.  

Once the CSUA is approved:

  1. Principal Investigator completes "Add Authorized Controlled Substances Researcher" for each researcher (fill out via this form for both PI and each researcher)
  2. PI and each researcher complete "Researcher Registration and DEA Questionnaire" (this form will be sent once the previous form is submitted)
  3. PI and researcher(s) complete "Controlled Substances" online training through the UC Learning Center

Usage and Disposal Logs:

  • Controlled Substance Use Log - Every container of controlled substance in your possession must have an associated use log that is kept in the same locked and secure place. Containers of concentrated or solid (pdf) (word) controlled substances must each have a log sheet to record the amount removed to make dilutions or solutions. Dilutions and solutions (pdf) (word) must each have a log sheet to record usage.
  • Transfer Log (pdf) (word) - To track the transfer of controlled substances from one authorized person or location to another.  Contact EH&S for assistance with transfers.
  • Inventory Form  (word) - To record the biennial inventory when specifically requested by EH&S CS Program Administrator as required by the DEA.

Schedule I & Marijuana Research

Research with Schedule I drugs, like Marijuana, requires a special DEA registration. Contact EH&S when considering research with a Schedule I drug.

Research with Marijuana

Principal Investigator Google Site

On each Google Site, PIs and authorized users can:

  • View Controlled Substances allowed in lab
  • View all researchers registered in lab
  • Invite new researchers to lab
  • Add/Update Controlled Substances (based on IACUC authorization)

List I and List II Chemicals

The Federal DEA identifies chemicals that can be used to manufacture controlled substances. There are two lists, List I and List II, which differ by import/export/sales reporting thresholds. The State of California maintains a similar list, known as "Precursor Chemicals." The California list of precursor chemicals includes the DEA List I Chemicals plus some additional chemicals. Campus vendors must meet stringent regulations regarding the sale and distribution of these chemicals. UCSC personnel do not need to participate in the Controlled Substance Program in order to request and use Listed or Precursor chemicals.

Note: California Precursor Chemicals must be purchased from Spectrum Chemicals and are subject to a manditory 21 day waiting period.

DEA List I and List II Chemicals

California Precursor Chemicals


For any additional questions regarding the DEA's Controlled Substance Program, visit the following link:

DEA Diversion Control Program