The Americans will deny you entry to the US if you have a pot conviction in Canada. It does not matter if the offence was trafficking, cultivation, production or simple pot possession, you will be denied entry. The offence can be 40 years old and you can still be denied entry to the US.
Each day we receive many calls from people who have been denied entry to the US due to their criminal record. The person could have crossed the US border hundreds of times in the past, but it takes one time when a border officer decides to do a criminal check and see the offence and then deny you entry.
Once denied entry to the US, you will need a US Entry Waiver or I-194 to return to the US. These waivers are expensive and complicated to process and they only last from between 1 and 5 years and then you must re-apply for the waiver.
If you have already been granted a pardon or record suspension and have never been denied entry to the US in the past then you may be safe to travel however a recent news article indicates otherwise. According to this news article, the Canadian government wants to provide the US Border Services with Pardoned offences for pot convictions. If this is the case, it won’t matter that you received a pardon, the Americans will still be able to see that you have gotten the pardon for a pot offence and then deny you entry.
Regardless of your situation, it is a good idea to speak to a counselor to understand your situation.
Here is the article entitled “Ottawa asks US to note cannabis pardons granted to Canadians”: