Purchasing and Receiving Precursor Chemicals

Precursor chemicals are chemicals known to be used in the illegal manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychoactive substances. They are tightly regulated by the State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General (CA-DOJ), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The substances considered by the CA-DOJ and DEA to be chemical precursors are found in DEA Lists I and II and the California DOJ precursor chemicals list. Workday requisitions for precursor chemicals may be submitted by DEA Registrants, Authorized Users, Lab Personnel, or Departmental Budget Analysts. This section reviews purchasing and receiving requirements. Refer to the Precursor Chemical Purchase Guide Sheet for a summary of the information below.

Precursor Chemical Purchasing Options

  • Obtain a California precursor business permit issued by the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement of the Department of Justice
  • Apply for an “Analytical Lab” DEA Registration
  • Purchase via Spectrum Chemical located in the state of California [Recommended].
    • NOTE: A 21-day hold will be put on all orders from Spectrum Chemical to satisfy DEA requirements but a DEA registration is NOT needed.

According to the California Health and Safety Code, Section 11100-11107.1, any individual purchasing a precursor chemical from a supplier located outside of the state of California must have a Precursor Chemical Permit specific to the regulated item (e.g., iodine, piperidine) or a DEA Registration with “Analytical Lab” as the business activity along with the provision of a usage statement.

California Precursor Chemical Permit

If you choose to acquire a California precursor chemical permit, please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Contact the California Controlled Substances group at 916-227-4222 or email CCSP@DOJ.CA.GOV to inquire about obtaining a precursor chemical permit.
    • The indicated permit can be used both within and outside of the state of California once granted.
  2. Acquire a precursor chemical permit for each precursor chemical to be used.
    • If multiple types of precursor chemicals will be used, a precursor chemical permit must be obtained for each one.
  3. Create and submit a Workday requisition.

DEA Registration- Analytical Lab

If you choose to acquire a DEA registration for “Analytical Lab” purposes, please follow the instructions outlined in the DEA Registration and Renewal section.

Purchasing Precursor Chemicals from within California [Recommended]

An alternative to the options outlined above is to purchase precursor chemicals from a Workday supplier located within the state of California. A minimum 21-day processing period will be required for such purchases to fulfill DEA requirements. Information on Workday Access, Supplier, and Requisition is outlined below.

Workday Access

Log into Workday using your USC Net (two-factor authentication). For Workday support, contact your Imagine Partner.

Workday Supplier

EH&S has one approved in-state supplier, shown below, in which precursor chemicals can be purchased. You may view the supplier website to preview the product catalog or call for more information.

Supplier Website Phone Additional Paperwork Required
Spectrum Chemical http://www.spectrumchemical.com 1-800-772-8786 Spectrum QAF481 Form & Letter of Intended Use

Spectrum Chemical representative contact information: Alexis Liebman-Telephone: (800) 772-8786 x5655, (424) 465-4708 cell; Email: aliebman@spectrumchemical.com

Spectrum Chemical requires that a Spectrum QAF481 form and a written “Letter of Intended Use” displayed on a departmental letterhead be completed prior to the purchase of a precursor chemical. The Spectrum Chemical Form QAF481 and Letter of Intended Use are valid for one year and must be renewed for future purchases thereafter. A QAF481 Form and Letter of Use must be completed for each chemical on purchase (e.g., separate paperwork for anthranilic acid and hydriodic acid).

EH&S will not process precursor chemical Workday requisitions if a Spectrum QAF481 form and Letter of Intended Use is not provided. Follow the steps outlined below to prepare for a Workday requisition for the purchase of precursor chemicals through Spectrum Chemical.

  1. Complete the Spectrum Chemical Form QAF481.
    1. Use the following information:
      • Customer # = “30918”
      • Order # = leave blank
      • Spectrum Representative = “Alexis Lieberman”
    2. All written signatures must be in ink
    3. Two forms of ID must be Driver’s license and USC Federal Tax ID Number (95-164-2394).
      • If Authorized Purchaser does not have a driver’s license, a state issued ID card maybe be used in lieu.
  2. Create a “Letter of Intended Use” displayed on departmental letterhead.
    • Briefly summarize intended use of precursor chemical.
    • Letter must be dated and a signature written in ink.
  3. Scan and email a PDF copy of complete Spectrum Form QAF481 and Letter of Intended Use to CS Program Manager at ehs-cs@usc.edu.

Workday Requisition and Submission

When completing Workday requisitions, please ensure that the purchasing form is complete. Any missing information or required attachments will result in your requisition being returned. Follow the steps outlined below to complete a Workday requisition for the purchase of precursor chemicals.

  1. Log into Workday → Click on Purchases → Create Requisition. Company, Requestor, and Currency information will auto-populate
  2. Choose “Controlled Substance for Research” as the Requisition Type
  3. NOTE: Controlled substances must be delivered to the address listed on the DEA registrant’s license. Select the “Deliver-To” and “Ship-To” address accordingly.
  4. Select appropriate building and floor for “Deliver-To” by typing the appropriate three letter building code (e.g., NRT) into the search bar. The “Ship-To” address will then auto-populate.
  5. Once all red-starred items are filled in, press “Okay”.
  6. Under “Select an Option” choose “Request Non-Catalog Items”.
  7. Indicate “Item Description”.
  8. Select “Chemicals Controlled Substances (Research)” as the Spend Category. Order from any USC-approved vendor, as outlined above.
  9. Indicate “Supplier” (e.g., MWI Veterinary Supply Co).
  10. Indicate “Quantity”.
  11. Indicate “Unit of Measure”.
  12. Select “Add to Cart”. You may then “Checkout”.
  13. Once in Checkout, scroll down to “Goods”.
  14. Indicate purchase “Items” by typing desired material into search bar.
  15. Add applicable DEA registration and supplier forms (e.g., MWI DDF) in the “Attachments” section.
  16. Click “Submit”.

Once submitted, the Workday order will be routed to EH&S for approval. If there are any discrepancies or additional information required, the CS Program Manager will contact the requestor. Once approved, the supplier will fill the order and the precursor chemicals will be directly delivered to the address indicated on the order form.

Contact CS Program Manager at ehs-cs@usc.edu for inquiries regarding the purchase of precursor chemicals.