When Just Another Jay (JAJ) came into the cannabis scene a couple of years ago, we immediately fell in love with their aesthetic and dedication to bridging the gap between the LGBTQIAPK+ community and cannabis. Creative Director, Cameron Rexroat, and Photographer, Nick Abel, of JAJ have become a familiar and respected voice in the world of cannabis social media — and rightfully so.
What many people don’t know is that the cannabis industry owes a lot of what it has achieved today to the LGBTQIAPK+ advocates of decades past. As a group that has been excluded from the cannabis industry, it’s time for LGBTQIAPK+ individuals to claim their space within the cannabis community and for the industry to make significant space for them. To learn more about the history, check out our previous article.
As we prepare for our upcoming event series, The Music & Mindfulness Tour, which embraces the beauty of San Francisco Pride Month, we wanted to take a moment to share Cameron and Nick’s story with our community. We are proud to bring JAJ out to the Bay Area to be our official tour photographers.
How did you and Nick meet?
Nick and I met at a Lady Gaga concert in Phoenix. I just moved from New York City and was in desperate need of some music from my all time favorite artist. I was actually online and noticed Nick on OkCupid. I introduced myself and we ended up coming to the conclusion that we were going to the same show. Looking back, we both thought that if we didn’t like each other, at least Gaga would be there to make us forget. Now anytime a Lady Gaga song comes on, I think of Nick, his beautiful smile and when I first met him. Who knew that six years later, we would still be singing the same songs together. He’s the only one I would ever want to do this life with.
What are your favorite things to do together?
Well, we work together, but sometimes calling what we do “work” is very surreal. When we aren’t being creative, we love to travel and explore. It’s honestly always an adventure with us and we love visiting new cities all over the country. Some of the best memories we share are on our insane, cannabis-fueled trips. If you’ve been around us during these trips, you know we are either running up and down the streets, shooting content or in a random vegan eatery. It’s a fun life.
How does cannabis benefit your life and relationship?
Cannabis is something we both have very personal stories with. When I first met Nick, I never even thought about using the product. There was a moment where I noticed the therapeutic effects and saw how it managed Nick’s anxiety, so I decided to try it. It changed everything in our lives. Looking back, if it wasn’t for Nick’s introduction and the education I was given, none of this would be happening. In a way, cannabis saved more than a relationship, it changed our world and opened so many doors for us.
As a couple, what is it like to work together?
It’s a journey filled with love, patience and understanding. I won’t sit here and type lies by saying it’s always been “magical and amazing.” It’s all about learning and understanding your partner. Most of the time, you hear people say not work with your significant other. Nick and I level each other out. It’s been a dream of mine to work with my partner and it’s happening everyday! This isn’t a cake walk by any means. It’s something you really have to want and make sure you know when to “turn off.”
What gave you the idea to start JAJ together?
No one was doing what we introduced to the industry. We were sitting around, smoking a joint and, at that time, Nick was working full time as a photographer in the vegan food industry. I was managing a chain of dispensaries in the Arizona market and I would see what was being produced and how it was being showcased. There was zero representation of POC, LGBTQIAPK+, etc. in the space. When I starting seeing the same thing occurring over social media, it sparked an idea for both of us. That’s how Just Another Jay was born.
We are not just another marketing/photography company. We are representing the silenced communities in the cannabis industry. Representation wasn’t only lacking, but education was lacking as well — not for the product, but for the communities that have been forgotten in the wave of legalization in the United States. We are different because everything we produce creates a feeling of inclusion and sparks conversation. JAJ is a movement more than anything.
What is your ultimate vision for JAJ?
We are still babies in the grand scheme of things, but we want JAJ to evolve into a collective. In the LGBTQIAPK+ community, we have a tradition of creating families within our communities because of the lack of understanding from the “outside world.” We have the privilege to choose our families and that’s what we want with JAJ. Eventually, we would love to develop a physical location where we can hire and employ other creatives in the industry. This way, we can continue to explore thought-provoking projects within cannabis.