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Controlled Substance

A controlled substance (CS) is a substance that has a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect on the nervous system and can only be obtained by registrants with the DEA.  If a chemical you require for research is classified as a Controlled Substance (CS), you must apply for a DEA license before work can begin. 

  • Controlled substances: Psychotropic drugs and precursors regulated under the Federal Controlled Substances Act and the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
  • Listed chemicals (also known as precursor chemicals): Chemicals that may be used to manufacture controlled substances. Listed chemicals are regulated in order to prevent the illicit manufacture of controlled substances.

Check these 3 lists to see if your chemical is a Controlled Substance

  1. DEA Controlled Substances in Alphabetical Order (PDF)
  • Note the CS schedule number for the chemical you require. CS schedules are classifications of narcotics and dangerous drugs (denoted by Roman numerals I-V), ranked by their potential for abuse and other factors. You need this information to:
    • Determine if pre-authorization from the Research Advisory Panel of California is required
    • Determine if additional DEA registration is required
  1. DEA Substances Covered (for listed chemicals)
  • Note the table shows List I and List II chemicals. CSUSM’s CS procedures apply only to List I chemicals.
  1. List of California Department of Justice Precursor Chemicals
  • The California Department of Justice considers these substances able to produce CS.

Principal Investigators

Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible at all times for maintaining a current DEA license, an accurate inventory and on-site log book, and supervising their CS facility and authorized personnel in compliance with CSUSM’s Controlled Substances Program.

Authorized personnel

Authorized personnel are individuals designated by the PI to access and work with controlled substances under their particular DEA License.

Authorized personnel must:

  • Use CS exclusively for the purpose stated in their DEA License.
  • Maintain a secure storage location for CS at all times.
  • Return CS to the secure storage location when not in use.
  • Record dispensation of any CS in the log sheet.
  • Properly dispose of CS.


Controlled Substances - CSUSM Standard Operating Procedure - under revision