PA Marijuana Pardon Project

PA Marijuana Pardon Project

Pennsylvania coordinated a one-time, large-scale pardon effort for people with certain minor, non-violent marijuana convictions.

Applications were accepted throughout the month of September and are now closed.

Did you apply? Use this guide to find out what happens next.

Miss the deadline? You can still apply for an expedited pardon.

‘Nobody should be turned down for a job, housing, or volunteering at your child’s school because of some old, nonviolent weed charge — especially given that most of us don’t even think this should be illegal.’

 Lt. Gov. John Fetterman

I Applied. Now What?

Timeline: Applications being taken Sept. 1-30. Merit reviews Oct. 13. Public hearings Dec. 16-19. After Dec. 19, applications recommended for pardon will be sent to the governor for final action.

The Board of Pardons will contact you if follow-up is needed on your application.

October 13: Merit review sessions are held. During these sessions, the Board of Pardons decides who gets a public hearing.

December 13 to 16: The Board of Pardons votes on individual cases in public hearings. [Chosen applicants do not need to appear before the board for questioning.]

Recommendations then head to the governor for a pardon. The governor is not mandated to act in a specific amount of time after receiving the recommendations.

If the governor grants your pardon, you will receive official documentation in the mail, including a:

  • Letter signed by the secretary of the Board of Pardons
  • Charter of the pardon with the official Commonwealth seal, signed by the governor and secretary of the Commonwealth

I Missed the Deadline. Now What?

People who only have nonviolent marijuana offenses on their record may qualify for an expedited pardon.

Another option is to apply for clemency.

After A Pardon

If you receive a pardon, congratulations! This means complete forgiveness for your conviction.

Your next step is to petition the court for an expungement of the conviction from your record. Check with the Clerk of Courts in the county where your arrest took place for further instructions.


Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

Need further assistance? Email

Q: What is a pardon?

A. A pardon is an act by the Governor of Pennsylvania that acts as forgiveness for a conviction from your criminal record.


Q: Does a pardon mean my record is cleared?

A. Not exactly. After being pardoned, you’ll still need to petition the court to have the conviction expunged from your record.

Expungements are handled by the Pennsylvania State Police and the Clerk of Courts in the county where a person was arrested. More information: PA Guide to Pardons.


Q: Why was the timeframe for applications so limited?

A. The September 1 to September 30 timeframe ensured that applications will receive a merit review at the October board meeting.

The timeframe also was limited by the amount of time left in Governor Tom Wolf’s tenure.


Q: What happens next?

A. The Board of Pardons will only reach out if they need further clarification from you.

Oct. 13: Qualified applicants undergo a merit review.

Dec. 13-16: Board votes on applications in public hearings.

The board then sends recommended applications to the governor for a pardon.

You will be notified upon final action by the governor before the end of the Wolf Administration in January 2023.


Q: What if I missed the deadline but still want to apply for a pardon?

A. You can apply for clemency.


Q: Will the PA Marijuana Pardon Project slow down other pardons processes in Pennsylvania?

A. No, this special initiative will not affect other efforts in Pennsylvania.

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