Office of Diversion Control, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

RESOURCES > Chemical Control Program > Advisories to the Public > NOTICE - Safrole and Sassafras Oil are used in the Illicit Manufacture of MDMA

Advisories to the Public

NOTICE - Safrole and Sassafras Oil are used in the Illicit Manufacture of MDMA

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is issuing this notice to inform individuals and businesses handling safrole and essential oils rich in safrole, such as sassafras oil, "brown" camphor oil 1.070, also referred to as Chinese sassafras oil, that they are sometimes used in the manufacture of MDMA. MDMA is also known as ecstasy, and is often spelled XTC. MDMA is a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.

MDMA abuse is a major drug problem in the United States.

Criminals are always searching for sources of safrole and essential oils rich in safrole (both will be referred to as "safrole").

Safrole is a list I chemical under federal law.

Handlers of safrole need to know their customers so as not to become an unwitting supplier to a clandestine MDMA laboratory.

Per federal regulations, each handler (regulated person) shall report to the DEA Special Agent in Charge of the local DEA office the following information:

  1. Any regulated transaction involving:
  • an extraordinary quantity of safrole,
  • an uncommon method of payment or delivery, or
  • any other circumstance that the regulated person believes may indicate that the safrole will be used in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
  1. Any proposed regulated transaction with a person whose description or other identifying
    characteristic the DEA has previously furnished to the regulated person.
  2. Any unusual or excessive loss or disappearance of safrole under the control of the
    regulated person. The regulated person responsible for reporting a loss in-transit is
    the supplier.

It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess or distribute safrole, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, the safrole will be used to manufacture MDMA.

The Drug Enforcement Administration thanks you for your cooperation in this matter.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE  •  DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION
Office of Diversion Control  •  8701 Morrissette Drive  •  Springfield, VA 22152  •  1-800-882-9539