Pardon a Cannabis Conviction in Canada – The How To Guide


You’ve probably heard rumors about cannabis convictions being overturned in Canada post legalization. Approaching October 17, 2018 (Canada’s national legalization of cannabis date),  the Canadian Government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made it clear they have a path to right the wrongs and overturn past cannabis possession convictions that they deemed unnecessary.

Unfortunately the topic line that wasn’t discussed is the timeline and costs associated with doing so.

We looked into the total process of receiving a pardon for a cannabis conviction in Canada.  Here’s what we learned:

  1. Just because Canada pardons you, doesn’t mean the US will acknowledge it
  2. It’s very costly
  3. It’s very time consuming

Pardons are granted by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) and referred to as “Record Suspensions” in Canada.  According to, the general timeline for submission and processing is 6 months to 2 years.

Keep in mind, a record suspension doesn’t remove your charges completely, it pushes them to the side for the time being, and although Canada may recognize that your case has been removed, a record suspension doesn’t guarantee any other country will recognize the changes.

How to pardon your cannabis charges in Canada

Cost of record suspension in Canada

As of May 2017, reports that a Canadian Pardon will cost you $631.00, with some additional fees depending upon the details of your case. suggests that cost can increase quick, with a variable total of over $1000 as seen below:

Breakdown of record suspension costs

? Fingerprints ($75 per set)
$95-$150 Court Disposition.
$40 Criminal Conviction.
$20 Non-Conviction charge.
$95 Local Police Jurisdiction.
? Government of Canada filing fee $631 (if applicable)
? U.S. government filing fee $585 USD (if applicable)

Below is a video introducing the ten step process for filing a pardon in Canada.

Apply for a cannabis charge pardon

How to apply for a Canadian cannabis pardon

  1.  Obtain your criminal record
  2.  Obtain your court documents
  3.  Obtain military conduct sheet (if applicable)
  4.  Obtain local police records check
  5.  Obtain proof of citizenship / immigration documents 
  6.  Obtain the appropriate documents to provide identity
  7.  Complete Schedule 1 Exemption Form
  8.  Complete Record Suspension Application Form
  9.  Complete Measurable Benefit & Sustained Rehabilitation Form
  10.  Complete & submit the remaining checklist and documents 

Find the full 10 step process to apply for a cannabis pardon in Canada here.