Countless people practice religion throughout the world, and it holds sway over their beliefs and even their livelihoods. Some find religious beliefs to be an essential way to find meaning outside of the self or to understand their role or destiny in the world. For Brendon Wilder and his wife, owners of new Oklahoma-based cannabis brand Highest Intent, religion was once a big part of their lives. Eventually, they realized that they were unhappy with their religion, and they chose to celebrate their own lives and step away from Christianity. Once that happened, cannabis entered Wilder’s life which led to the launch of his cannabis brand. Wilder shares his journey from Christian to cannabis business owner, and the path that has led him to launch a new brand in Oklahoma, one of the country’s rapidly growing cannabis markets.
You previously practiced Christianity with a “megachurch.” What made you leave the church, and what did you hope to accomplish afterwards?
It’s pretty crazy, but I grew up in that church for 15 years. It was the number one influence in my life above school, my parents, and anything else from the time I was 10 years old. As I gave more and more of myself to “God’s plan,” I was growing increasingly unhappy. It was really a matter of time before all of the suppression of my own emotions would boil over.
Looking back, it’s clear to see that I didn’t truly respect and love myself. Instead, I was trying to earn that love, respect, and approval from other people and “god.” Toward the end of my time there, I remember repeatedly asking myself: “If this is what the rest of my life looks like, am I happy with that?”
Long story short, I left religion/church …
Author: Nicole Potter / High Times