Born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, Jay was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1970, while a teenager. He was aware of cannabis and its highly illegal status; Regardless he sought it out to help manage his Crohn’s symptoms. An unexpected consequence of his search: he was arrested for possession in 1973.
Despite, or maybe because of, his contact with the criminal justice system, he started growing cannabis in 1974 while at Emerson College. Throughout this time he continued searching for information about the plant and how to best use it.
He moved to New York City in 1978 to attend law school and grew cannabis under T5 lights hanging under his Greenwich Village loft bed. After graduation and bar admission, Jay practiced law in Manhattan and was an administrative law judge in the South Bronx for many years. All this time he was growing medical grade cannabis for his Crohn’s. In 2010 he and with his growing partner, Uncle Tweezy, formed Uptowngrowlab in Spanish Harlem. Their collaboration resulted in the first coffee table book devoted to cannabis, illustrated with Jay’s photos of the plant in all stages of its life.
The book, ‘Uptowngrowlab Presents The Kitchen’ was published in 2014 and shortly thereafter Jay retired from the law, moved to Washington State where he became a full time cannabis content creator.
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