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Controlled Substances: Storage Requirements

See requirements for storage of controlled substances at UC San Diego.

  • Notify EH&S immediately of missing controlled substances: (858) 534-1362. 
  • CS storage areas must be accessible for inspection/audits during normal lab hours.

Principal investigators are responsible for providing and maintaining secure CS storage.

Before purchasing or installing a storage container for CS inventory, contact the Controlled Substances Program Manager, (858) 534-1362, to develop an approved storage plan.

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Approval to store inventory

Your new CS storage site or changed existing site must be approved by the CS Program Manager before it can be used to store CS inventory.

Get approval to store inventory

Storage requirements

Store CS according to schedule number (minimal requirements):

  • Schedule I: Store in a securely locked and substantially constructed cabinet, safe, or steel cabinet. The local DEA office will conduct a site visit to review all new proposals and changes to existing Schedule I storage areas.
  • Schedule II-V, List I, and CA Precursors: Store in a locked drawer or cabinet that is inaccessible from above or below.
  • Carfentanil etorphine hydrochloride and diprenorphine: Store in a safe or steel cabinet equivalent to a U.S. Government Class V security container.

Install the following equipment according to these standards:

  • Padlocks and hinges:
    • Mounting screws or bolts of the hasp must be inaccessible when the door is closed and the lock is fastened.
  • Safes and steel cabinet equivalents:
    • Must be cemented or bolted to the floor or wall, or weigh more than 750 pounds.
  • Storage units:
    • Must be secure enough to show forced entry.
  • Drawers:
    • Must be inaccessible from the upper or lower drawers in the stack.
    • Assign the top drawer of the stack to use as the storage facility if possible.
    • Cabinetry encasing the drawer must be securely adhered to a wall or floor or independently weigh greater than 750 pounds.
    • Must be secure enough to show forced entry.

Storage restrictions

  • Do not share CS storage facilities.
  • Use CS storage areas only for CS inventory and their inventory log book(s).
  • Do not transfer CS from its original container for storage purposes.
  • Do not store other chemicals or supplies in a CS storage unit.
  • Do not store CS in a corridor.

Access restrictions

Follow these precautions:

  • Restrict access exclusively to Authorized Personnel listed on your Controlled Substances Use Authorization (CSUA).
  • Plan to allow access to locked area in case of unannounced inspection/audit. 
  • Keep storage key(s) in the physical custody of Authorized Personnel at all times.
    • You can make multiple key copies and assign them to CSUA-listed Authorized Personnel.
  • Do not store keys in an unlocked drawer or hanging unlocked on the wall.
  • When Authorized Personnel leave their position in the lab:
    • Change combinations or retrieve the individual's keys.
    • Document Authorized Personnel security changes in the inventory log book.
    • Amend your Authorized Personnel list in the CSUA Web application (see instructions here).

Amend your CSUA if storage changes

Amend your CSUA if your existing CS storage changes in any way:

  1. Go to the CSUA Web application
  2. In the CSUA application, use the My CSUA tab to amend Section 4-CS Storage Site.

Get approval to store inventory

Changes (repairs, modifications, or moves) to your CS storage site or installation must be approved by the CS Program Manager before it can be used to store CS inventory.

Inventory can be temporarily stored at a secure EH&S facility during storage site repairs, modifications, or moves.

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Notice: Disposal of hazardous waste using sinks, intentional evaporation, or as regular trash is against the law. Campus laboratories must abide by strict state and federal waste disposal requirements. You may be held liable for violations of applicable laws.