What is a Controlled Substance?

In the context of this policy, a Controlled Substance is as defined by the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Office of Diversion. Specifically, a controlled substance is a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V and List I and II Regulated Chemicals.


It may be necessary to use controlled substances in certain research and teaching activities on the CU Boulder campus. Controlled substances are identified in the schedules contained within the “Controlled Substances Inventory List,” published by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

In accordance with Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 1300 to END, all University employees who are conducting research or teaching activities that involve controlled substances must:

  • comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding their use;
  • possess any necessary US DEA and State of CO registrations;
  • adhere to controlled substance storage, inventory maintenance, and disposal requirements;
  • comply with reporting and record keeping requirements.

Research Involving Cannabis

Regulations concerning research involving cannabis, including marijuana and industrial hemp, are particularly complex. Please see the CU Boulder Guidance document and contact Regulatory Compliance Associate Tom Heddleston (303-492-0770) with questions.