Microsatellite markers were developed for Cannabis sativa L. (marijuana) to estimate the level of polymorphism, usefulness for DNA typing (genotype identification), and to measure the genetic relationships between the different plants. Twelve different oligonucleotide probes were used to screen an enriched microsatellite library of Cannabis sativa in which 49% of the clones contained microsatellite sequences. Characterization of microsatellite loci in Cannabis revealed that GA/CT was the most abundant class of isolated microsatellites representing 50% overall. Eleven polymorphic SSR markers were developed, derived from dinucleotide motifs and eight from trinucleotide motifs. A total of 52 alleles were detected averaging 4.7 alleles/locus. The expected heterozygosity of the eleven loci ranged between 0.368 and 0.710 and the common probability of identical genotypes was 1.8 x 107. The loci identified 27 unique profiles of the 41 Cannabis samples. The eleven microsatellite markers developed in this study were found to be useful for DNA fingerprinting and for assessing genetic relationships in Cannabis.