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Ordering Guidelines for Marijuana and Marijuana Cigarettes

Revised March 2014

To obtain marijuana and marijuana cigarettes from the NIDA DSP, all research investigators will need to prepare a Request Package. A Request Package should include the following items:

1.  A cover letter including:

  1. Name, phone number and e-mail address of Research Investigator (and consignee, if applicable),
    • Provide a current and complete address that would allow shipment by a suitable carrier such as Federal Express(FedEx) (i.e. street address, building name or number, room number, city and state) - This address should coincide with the address on the DEA order form.
    • If requestor’s address is outside the US, please provide all necessary documentation to verify whether particular compound requested is permitted in his/her country for importation.
  2. If applicable, NIH grant number of project and name and contact information of project’s NIDA/NIH Program Officer (if applicable).  If a non-grantee, no information regarding the Program Officer and grant number is required.
  3. Name(s) and quantity of compounds or other substances being requested,
    • If multiple studies/tasks are planned, combine projected needs into a single order rather than placing several separate requests in a short time interval.  Please visit the NIDA DSP Catalog. The request should generally be limited to no more than four items per order to avoid delay.

2.  The Research Investigator’s curriculum vitae (CV).

3.  A detailed research protocol clearly indicating:

  1. The specific aims and goals of proposed study (preferably the study abstract),
  2. The number of experiments and experimental subjects,
  3. The strength or concentration of marijuana or marijuana cigarettes,
    • Calculate required amount of marijuana cigarettes for your project and submit your request well in advance of your planned experiments or tasks, or 6‑8 weeks prior to depletion of stock on hand for ongoing studies/tasks.
  4. Justification for the quantity of marijuana or marijuana cigarettes requested.  If the request is related to a previously submitted protocol, provide a reference to this protocol and a brief statement of progress along with references to resulting publications.

4.  Statement of commitment that NIDA will be acknowledged in research publications using the NIDA Drug Supply Program.

5.  A completed DEA Order Form-222.

  • Under the third column of DEA Form-222 (Size of Package), list quantities as bulk weight.

6.  A copy of current DEA registration, Form DEA-223 for a controlled substance.

  • It is the Research Investigator's responsibility to keep his/her registration current and verify the drug code for the requested drug.
  • Avoid drug abbreviations, and include specifications such as (+), (‑), (dl), base, or salt, if appropriate.

7.  For clinical research projects involving human subjects

  1. Investigational New Drug (IND) number and a copy of approved IND letter from the FDA. For more information, please visit the FDA IND Application website.
  2. A copy of your Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval letter
  3. A copy of your Data Safety and Monitoring Plan
  4. Proof of registration with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT #)
  5. A copy of the study consent form(s)

8.  For basic (non-human) research projects

  1. A copy of the document demonstrating that the research is approved by the Animal Care & Use Committee and that adequate care in conducting animal research will be exercised (if applicable).  For more information, please visit the Animal Care & Use Committee Animal Study Proposal website.

9.  For ongoing research projects (This includes research previously supported by the NIH prior to request)

  1. Reference information1 pertaining the previous protocol / FDA approval to the previous protocol
  2. A brief statement of progress (500 words or less)
  3. A list of any relevant publications.

10.  Billing Information for Shipping Costs:

  1. US investigators should provide their FedEx account number to bill shipping charges,
  2. International requests for controlled compounds should provide their United Parcel Service (UPS) Supply Chain Solutions account number to bill shipping charges.

11.  For Foreign Investigators, please submit the Import Permit (preferably in English) issued by an appropriate agency of your government if the request is for an internationally controlled drug substance. The name of the supplier on the import permit must be listed as follows:

Research Triangle Institute
Kenneth S. Rehder Ph.D.
Hermann Building , East Institute Drive
P.O. Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA

  • The import permit should be accompanied by a signed statement from the investigator to the effect that the drug will be used solely for the purpose of research and will not be re-exported. The import permit must contain a clear address and individual name to which the requested drug is to be delivered (not a post office box number). Shipment should be indicated on the import permit as Air Freight to this individual. Specify the appropriate port for customs clearance purposes and provide the name and address of the Customs Clearance Agent, if one is used.
  • Please obtain the longest possible expiration date on import permits.
  • Foreign investigators should also be aware that compounds are shipped with a listed value (for insurance purposes). Since this can cause problems with customs officials, investigators should determine in advance what steps should be taken to avoid these complications. Often an official statement that the compounds are for research only and have no commercial value is sufficient.

Failure to comply with aforesaid guidelines may delay the processing of your request.

Contact Information:

All requests/questions should be addressed to:

Hari H. Singh, Ph.D.
Phone: (301) 435-1310, or

Paul S. Hillery, Ph.D.
Phone: (301) 435-1306, or

Kevin Gormley (RTI)
Drug Supply Specialist
Phone: (301) 435-0264

Chemistry & Physiological Systems Research Branch
Division of Basic Neuroscience & Behavioral Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room # 4262, MSC 9555
Bethesda, MD 20892-9555
Fax: (301) 594-6043
Phone: (301) 435-1310


1Reference information includes previous approvals for protocols used on previous projects; and previous research chemicals and compounds requested.

This page was last updated March 2014