Every since cannabis became legal in Canada, the government has allowed a fast track and inexpensive way for people with pot offences from the past to obtain a pardon or record suspension.
Removing a pot offence is important for a number of reasons including employment as most employers are doing criminal background check. If a negative check comes back, it looks bad on the candidate even though it was just a simple pot possession as the employer will automatically assume the worst and possible hire another candidate that has a clean record.
Another huge reason to remove the old pot charge is to be safe to travel to the US. The Americans are still denying Canadians entry to the US if they have a pot charge, no matter how small the amount and how old the charge is. This can be devastating to the traveler as it not only messes up their current vacation but once denied, they will need to apply for a US Waiver for the rest of their life which is expensive and complicated. Once a pardon is granted, as long as you’ve never been stopped by the Americans in the past, you will be safe for travel.
Despite the important reasons for removing the criminal record, many Canadians have not yet taken advantage of the pardon system. According to the following article, only 400 Canadians last year got a pardon for an old pot offence. Here is a copy of the article titled “Pot Possession: Fewer than 400 people pardoned under new system for erasing old weed convictions”