Cameron Ray Rexroat is the bright-eyed entrepreneur you see all over Just Another Jay’s website and Instagram page. He’s puffing on pre-rolls in a forest of redwoods, laughing over bong rips with friends in high places and casually rolling up on marble trays. But there are actually two brains behind this company’s attempt to make cannabis more beautiful in a world still trying to stigmatize the plant.
Rexroat and his partner Nick Abell are on a mission to bring representation to the cannabis industry. They do this through their lifestyle photography collective, which focuses on a health-centered approach to consumption with upscale aesthetics. They offer services to brands and influencers in need of help pulling together their digital content, whether it’s images, advertisements, endorsements or social media management. And it all started with a simple desire to change the way we look at cannabis.
“The name for our brand actually came about one day when we were just smoking and having fun,” Rexroat explains. “I had started noticing on social media that cannabis wasn’t being showcased in the elevated way that it deserved. We were just sitting around, coming up with names and we came up with ‘Just Another Jay’ as a play on the phrase ‘just another day,’ like the Lady Gaga song.”
Since they run their own company, Rexroat and Abell get to choose who they work with and how they share their resources. For them, it’s not all about making money. They say they are deliberate about teaming up with others who share their values and want to move the industry forward.
“I love working with clients that have really strong ethics and a strong purpose,” Rexroat says. “It is really refreshing to work with people who are committed to representing cannabis correctly, because not only does that set a standard, it also raises the bar and sets the cannabis industry apart.
It’s been important for the duo to not only help to improve the look of
“We were noticing we were only showcased in events such as Pride Month, but after that it was like we never existed,” Rexroat says. “[Now], that is a huge driver in everything that we do. We need to break down not only the stigma, but also educate people about cannabis and highlight discrimination that’s going on within the industry.”
But despite obstacles in the pathway to creating a truly inclusive industry, they are hopeful that things will continue to evolve as more women, people of color and other underrepresented groups in cannabis make space for themselves.
“With this being our second year in the industry, I have noticed a huge difference in cannabis advertising. I have seen people who share our same values for imagery emerging from the industry and that is really important,” Rexroat says. “The main goal is to ensure that we’re not making the same mistakes as everybody else.”
Right now, these entrepreneurs are focusing their energy in the direction of a move to Portland in order to escape the lag in legislation where they reside in Arizona. Though medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2010, Arizona just recently passed the testing bill that would require all companies to test their products for contaminants like mold and pesticides.
Rexroat and Abell feel their state has a long way to go, so they decided to move on to greener — and more advanced — pastures.
“Our move is also motivated by the current lack of diversity in the state that we live in,” Rexroat says. “We just want to set ourselves apart in different spaces and learn.”
Moving forward, Just Another Jay has hopes of crossing over into other industries, particularly the fashion industry, where Rexroat began his career. Their ambitions have been bolstered by the fact that fashion publications have an awareness of cannabis — but Rexroat feels confident there’s more work to be done in that space.
“Articles about cannabis have been published by the likes of Vogue, but they were not written nor photographed by people from the cannabis industry, people of color or people who are gay,” he says. “I’d love to challenge them to not to just talk about cannabis, but to include the people who represent it as well.”
TELL US, have you ever posted any photos of your cannabis consumption on social media?
Originally published in Issue 37 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE