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Controlled Substances: How to Order

Learn how to request a controlled substance (CS) for research purposes.

Become authorized to use CS

Before a lab can acquire CS, the principal investigator (PI) must have an approved Controlled Substance Use Authorization (CSUA).

Only CS approved in the CSUA may be requisitioned.

Order CS through the CSUA application

CS are restricted from department orders and must be requisitioned through the CSUA online application. Requisitioning is the process that allows the Controlled Substances Program (CSP) to review all requested items.  Approved requisitions will be submitted to the UC San Diego professional buyer in central procurement for order placement.

The PI and CSUA Lab Contacts approved on the CSUA can initiate a requisition on the CSUA application's My Orders tab.

Tip: Check the CS Product & Supplier Bulletin (PDF) for the latest CS procurement information by substance type and supplier.

How to requisition CS 

Note: To requisition CS you must be listed as a PI or CS Lab Contact on a CSUA. 

Create a CS requisition

  1. Go to the CSUA application and log in with your Single Sign-On.
  2. Under the My Orders tab, select Create Requisition.
  3. Select the appropriate CSUA under which you are ordering and click the Create CS Requisition button to initiate requisition. Follow site instructions to submit a requisition online.
  4. Send a copy of the PI-signed CS Requisition Supplemental form to the CSP for review using one of the following:
    • E-mail: ehscs@ucsd.edu
    • Fax: (858) 822-0561
    • Mail: Attn CS Program (MC 0090)

The PI must authorize the request by signing the CS Requisition Supplemental report (printed from the CSUA application). Keep the original PI-signed CS Requisition Supplemental form in the CS Orders tab of the CS Log Book.

After the CSP reviews and approves your CS requisition, the order is entered into Oracle by EH&S staff. The order must then be reviewed and approved by the requesting department before it is approved on Oracle by a UC San Diego CS Procurement & Contracts Buyer. Monitor the purchase order number in either the CSUA application or Oracle. Invoices are accessible via Payment Compass, if needed. 

Important: Transfer of controlled substances is prohibited. A "gift" of CS from a company or an agency must go through the same request and approval process with zero dollars for the cost.

Allow for delivery time

Plan ahead. CS are obtained from suppliers and there is no on-site stock. Note that California Precursors must be purchased from a California supplier and have a delay period of 21 days after an order has been placed, prior to shipment. Plan to order quantities sufficient for a 3–6 month period to minimize expired waste and risk of theft.

  • Schedule II: 3 weeks
  • Schedule III – V: 10 days
  • Listed chemicals (if their hazard class requires shipment by ground transportation): 20 days
  • California precursors (due to 21 day CA Dept. of Justice review period): 40 days
CS Lab Contacts will be notified via email when the request is approved by the CSP, when the order has been placed, and when the shipment is ready for pickup.

CS Order Pickup

CS orders are available for pickup after the CS Lab Contacts receive an arrival confirmation e-mail from the Controlled Substances Program (CSP). The e-mail states where to pick up the order and with whom to make an appointment to pick it up. The person who picks up the order must have a UC San Diego ID and be listed as an authorized recipient in section 3 of the CSUA- this information is included in the attachment to the pickup email.

After receiving your order, return directly to the approved secure storage location and secure the shipment until needed. File the CS Usage Log in the lab's CS Log Book.

CS Usage Logs 

The Controlled Substances Program (CSP) provides a CS Usage Log for each CS container when the item is picked up. Each container is labeled with a unique identification number that corresponds to a number written on its designated CS Usage Log. All dispensations from the original CS container should be documented on the associated usage log. Do not transfer a CS from the original container for storage purposes. Keep it in the original container.

Obtain additional CS Usage Log pages here, or contact the CSP if you need replacement CS Usage Logs. Include the container identification number in your request.

Questions? Contact EH&S Controlled Substances Program, (858) 534-1362 or (858) 534-9016.