A cDNA encoding a G protein-coupled receptor that appears to mediate the behavioral effects of cannabinoids, the psychoactive ingredients of marijuana, has recently been cloned from rat cerebral cortex and expressed. We have now determined the genomic location of the human cannabinoid receptor gene (CNR) by a combination of genetic linkage mapping and chromosomal in situ hybridization. The segregation pattern of a CNR DNA polymorphism was analyzed in 508 individuals from two or three generations of 40 families. Linkage of CNR to chromosome 6 centromeric loci and to DNA markers on the long and short arms was detected. CNR was tightly linked to D6S27, which is known to be located at 6q (log10 odds ratio [lod score, Zmax] of 10.54 at a recombination fraction [theta] of 0.02). Close linkage was suggested between CNR and CGA, the locus for the alpha subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (Zmax = 2.71 at theta = 0). Moreover, CNR was linked to the two markers 308/BamHI (theta = 0.14) and 308/TaqI (theta = 0.20) defining locus D6Z1, an extended, highly repetitive, and highly conserved sequence localized exclusively to centromeres of all chromosomes and enriched on chromosome 6. In situ hybridization using a biotinylated cosmid probe localizes the gene to 6q14-q15, thereby confirming the linkage analysis and defining a precise alignment of the genetic and cytogenetic maps.