Some people like flower, some people like extracts. Some people like to mix them for combined effects.
The latter group makes up the audience that Scott Sundvor and Libby Cooper, the founders of Space Coyote, are trying to reach with their extract-infused prerolls.
Space Coyote’s website doesn’t mince words: these products will get you “glazed.” “Gone are the days of tasteless prerolls and mediocre highs,” it reads.
“We both consider ourselves stoners,” Sundvor told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “Libby has really emphasized being proud of using that terminology and embracing that heritage culture in the market.”
But there’s also a science behind the stoniness—data to which Cooper paid attention in her last job at Eaze. The numbers showed customers’ purchasing behaviors reflected the value of “price-to-THC ratio,” she told CBT and CD. She also noticed that the preroll segment continues to grow, but these products are often made with trim or shake, and turn off some more experienced users.
“There was a disconnect between people who considered themselves connoisseurs, or stoners that really enjoyed strain-specific flavors, [and people] buying prerolls,” Cooper said. “Prerolls were for more of the canna-curious, the newer to the weed scene.”
She and Sundvor had wanted to work together for a while, he said. (He cofounded Nima, which creates gluten and peanut sensors for people with food allergies.) “We had this name, Space Coyote, and we knew that we wanted to do something in cannabis together,” he said.
They came up with that name when they and some friends visited Joshua Tree National Park in late 2017 for Sundvor’s birthday. New moon? Check. Meteor shower? Check. The “magic mushroom” active ingredient Psilocybin "might have been involved,” Sundvor joked.
“It really felt like we were in space, actually a part of this meteor shower,” Cooper said. “We were traipsing through the desert late at night. ... The coyotes were yipping in the background, and we climbed on some boulders and we really felt like we were space coyotes.”
Inside the Products
Cooper and Sundvor incorporated Space Coyote as a company in August 2018 and began linking up with companies that had built a name for themselves.
“Our first line of joints was a collaboration with Nasha Extracts, using their hash,” Sundvor said. “Then we had a collaboration with Guild, using their THCA in it. We have Utopia live resin. Now we have F/ELD live resin.
“We wanted to partner with companies that were really high quality and people knew were high quality because then they would know that our joints, as a result, were also meeting that quality.”
Space Coyote uses a proprietary process to combine flower and extract inside its prerolls, “so that it's a smooth and even burn every single Space Coyote,” Cooper said.
“A lot of the infused joints that we were seeing back in the day and still [see] today are infused on the paper on the outside, and that just doesn't make sense,” she said. “You want to be smoking the extract and specifically drawing it in through the cone. If it's on the outside, it's really just for show. It's going to crackle, it's going to smoke a lot, but most of that extract won’t get into your lungs.”
Cannabis extracts provide “a pure expression of the plant,” Sundvor said, accenting its cannabinoid and terpene profiles. Space Coyote joints are currently infused with hash, live resin or diamonds.
“The diamonds … are very high in THC and much lower in terpenes,” he said. “For me, it gives much more of this sparkly, almost psychedelic effect, whereas the live resin, you're getting this full, really broad spectrum, and then the hash is much more of that full-bodied flavor and just richness.”
Sundvor and Cooper serve more than 300 California dispensaries with the help of three full-time employees.
“We would love to expand to [other states], and it's definitely in our plans,” Cooper said. “But California's not only the fifth-largest economy in the world, but it's definitely the largest cannabis economy in the world. ... We want to be in all of the dispensaries here.”
As for the small team, there’s a reason for it that business owners in 2020 know all too well. “Our team was bigger before COVID, but we had just scaled back with the times,” she said.
Aiming to Empower
In the short time they have been in business, Sundvor and Cooper have swapped job titles. In 2019, Sundvor was CEO and Cooper was president. This year, Cooper is CEO and Sundvor is president. They are considering more switches in the coming years, Sundvor said.
“It was really important for us just to really symbolically show it to our team and also to outsiders that we do think of this as an equal partnership in this company, even though we have very different skill sets, we both run this company jointly,” he said.
Sundvor continued: “Our employees really appreciate it. We have multiple women on our team also, and I think that just seeing that we're empowering a female CEO [this year] also was really powerful.”
“Many up-and-coming artists still have to work a day job. Sometimes they work multiple day jobs,” said Cooper, who shared that she wanted to be an artist herself before taking a more commercial path in design. “Whatever sponsorship or commissioned pieces Space Coyote can do, helps.”
When working with artists, Sundvor said Cooper has always emphasized fair pay.
“I've been so impressed by that perspective that Libby has instilled in our whole company,” he said. “It's really great to see the impact that we’ve been able to make on some of these artists that we've worked with so far.”
Space Coyote is drawing and following its own map in the cannabis space—as reflected in its goals to embrace stereotypes that many consumers and businesses are moving away from, and its commission of art.
“Hopefully, one day, we'll actually be able to have what I fondly call ‘Space Coyote Ranch,’” Cooper said. “The vision would be land where people would be able to come and do an artist residency and really just truly create, uninterrupted, for a couple months.”