OCT. 13, 2022 -The Philadelphia CannaBusiness Association (PCBA) was looking forward to the Board of Pardons reviewing cases that were submitted under their Marijuana Pardon Project, which was a special 30-day-only program for people whose only crime was the possession of small amounts of marijuana, with no other convictions ever in any state or the federal laws.

Under our R.E.P.A.I.R platform, PCBA supports all methods and initiatives that lead to the pardoning and expunging of people’s records for marijuana-related convictions. No one should be harmed or destabilized for past marijuana convictions.

Ahead of this “merit review,” set for Thursday, October 13, 2022, the Board of Pardons published a statement on their website detailing 3,539 applications were up for review under the PA Marijuana Pardon Project. This review would determine potentially thousands of qualified Pennsylvanians who qualify for hearings set for December 13-16. After December 16th, applications recommended for pardon will be sent to the governor in which Gov. Tom Wolf would then issue pardons. 

However, the Board of Pardons made a motion and unanimous vote to hold the reviews under advisement, further delaying the process of addressing people’s past marijuana convictions and helping people move on with their lives

The longer the Board of Pardons delays these hearings, the longer people will continue to feel the long-term effects of their convictions. It is highly documented the impact a marijuana conviction can have on a person’s life and well-being. According to a recent study based on data from the Pennsylvania State Police, in Pennsylvania, Black people are five times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, and despite decriminalization in Philadelphia, Black people who are consuming or possessing cannabis still face the consequences of racist targeting by police.

We urge the Board of Pardons to move swiftly and efficiently in addressing the thousands of Pennsylvanians waiting to find out if they qualify for a pardon. Any delay will only continue to harm those who are seeking reprieve from a conviction that should have never happened in the first place.