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These are exciting and challenging times for the world of cannabis. The legal landscape associated with cannabis is continuously evolving. California laws have decriminalized the sale, possession, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana. Yet, federally cannabis and its components are still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance and are subject to federal regulation under the Controlled Substance Act. The University of California looks to federal law to guides UC policies regarding research on and use of cannabis.


21 U.S.C. § 802(16)

The Controlled Substance Act defines cannabis as meaning "all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin." 

This does not included:

  • (i) hemp, as defined in section 1639o of title 7; or
  • (ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.


7 U.S.C Ch.38, Sub VII § 1639o (1)

"The term “hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis."-