The legal and regulatory landscape for both marijuana and industrial hemp research is complicated and continually evolving. Changes in California laws have decriminalized the sale, possession, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana. Federal law, however, still classifies marijuana and its compounds as Schedule I controlled substances regulated under the Controlled Substances Act. This conflict and other inconsistencies between federal and state regulations mean that federal law guides UC policies regarding research on and use of cannabis.

The guidance documents listed below summarize applicable laws, regulations, and UC policies related to marijuana and industrial hemp research.

Contact: Agnes Balla at or (510) 987-9987.

RPAC Memo 19-02 PDF

March 19, 2019

This Memo provides information on the risks of accepting funding from the marijuana industry, and proposes a pilot program when considering accepting funding from the marijuana industry.

RPAC Memo 18-01 PDF

July 24, 2018

This memo provides information for researchers and research administrators regarding legal and policy issues related to marijuana research conducted at UC.

RPAC Memo 17-01 PDF

January 27, 2017

Information for UC researchers and research administrators regarding the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Proposition 64, which became law on January 1, 2017, and this new law’s effect on marijuana research conducted at UC.

Industrial Hemp

Guidance to assist campus researchers and administrators in understanding the requirements for conducting research with hemp and hemp derivatives, and for cultivating industrial hemp for research purposes.

Regulatory and Statutory Background | Frequently Asked Questions