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About the Guild

The Montana Cannabis Guild was founded in late 2020, following Montana’s triumphant adult-use cannabis legalization campaign. We are focused on guiding the creation of a robust and sustainable cannabis industry in the Big Sky State.

Who Are We?

The Montana Cannabis Guild was founded in late 2020, following Montana’s triumphant adult-use cannabis legalization campaign.

Operating as New Approach Montana, our staff crafted Initiative 190, the state’s adult-use legalization bill, and spearheaded the campaign to get the bill passed. On Election Day 2020, it passed with 57% of the vote, a striking repudiation of prohibition and an indisputable show of support for cannabis freedom. Now, we must ensure that implementation of the program is swift, fair and pragmatic.

Our bipartisan team is comprised of industry professionals, former elected officials and political insiders. Together, we fight on behalf of dispensary owners, auxiliary businesses and consumers alike to ensure that our growing industry has every opportunity to succeed, and that Montana residents and visitors can enjoy safe, legal cannabis.

The Guild is the sole organization registered to lobby for the cannabis industry in Montana. In addition to our work fighting for the emerging recreational cannabis program, we lobby diligently to preserve the integrity of our medical marijuana program.

On January 1, 2021, the first components of our legalization bill, statewide decriminalization and homegrow, went into effect. We couldn’t be more proud of this accomplishment, and its success only further demonstrates the striking failures of cannabis prohibition.

Professional Staff

Pepper Petersen

President and CEO

The President and CEO of the Montana Cannabis Guild, Pepper brings a legacy of cannabis industry innovation to the organization. He is the co-founder of Coalition406 and was the Political Director for New Approach Montana’s 2020 campaign to end cannabis prohibition in Montana. Pepper is a partner in the cannabis management firm, HB Management, and a craft cannabis producer himself.

As a proud descendant of early American patriots, cannabis farmers, and merchants who traded with President George Washington and formed the first cannabis co-op in America, Pepper carries the banner of more than 300 years of proud American cannabis cultivation from Colonial days to the nascent recreational industry here in Montana.

He holds a Bachelors in Political Science, a Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management, and a Masters Certificate in International Commodity Trading from Rhodes College.

Since 2007, Pepper has worked with clients in the Montana Medical Marijuana provider community on business management, marketing, branding, and public and government affairs; he is excited to lead the Montana Cannabis Guild into a bright future.

Ted Dick

Executive Director

The former Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party, Ted is a highly experienced campaign leader and association executive with over 20 years of experience in Montana politics.

Immediately before the founding of the Montana Cannabis Guild, Ted served as the campaign manager for New Approach Montana. In addition to his work in the Montana Democratic Party, Ted also served as the Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the Executive Organizer for SEIU’s Montana chapter, among other roles. 

Dave Lewis

Strategic Advisor

During seven terms in the Montana House and Senate, Dave authored some of the state’s earliest medical cannabis legislation. He also served as the budget director for four Montana Governors: Tom Judge, Ted Schwinden, Stann Stephens and Marc Racicot. 

Dave additionally served as Chairman of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance and Claims Committees and several terms as vice chairman. Along with his wife Karen, Dave is a proud father of three, grandfather of nine and great-grandfather of five!