Research with Marijuana

Research with Marijuana

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Marijuana and its derivatives are categorized as a Schedule I drug. Federal regulations do not permit the use, production, processing, sale or growth of marijuana, except for medical or research use conducted under special licensing requirements established by the DEA. Acquisition of this special license can take upwards of 1 year. The current University of California policy for research with Marijuana can be found here.

Please contact EH&S for any questions regarding research with Marijuana or its derivatives. Note that approval to work with these materials must also be provided by the Office of Research and Campus Counsel. 

Prop 64

On Nov. 8, 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64 legalizing the use of recreational marijuana among people over the age of 21. It is important to understand that Prop. 64 does not change UC policy; marijuana remains prohibited on all university property and at all university events, except for approved academic research. The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug Free Workplace Act require that UC, as a recipient of federal funding, establish policies that prohibit marijuana use, possession and distribution on campus and in the workplace.

Academic research involving marijuana may be conducted at the university to the extent authorized under both federal and state law; such research must be conducted in compliance with all applicable regulations and policies, including but not limited to federal registration and licensing requirements administered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and applicable to research use of controlled substances.


Violating the university’s policies may be grounds for discipline or corrective action, which may include required participation in a treatment program, with a maximum penalty of dismissal.