ALTON - Attorney Ed Unsell on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, provided a letter with his opinions about Studio 420 and Zachariah Yinger, his client.

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“It is absolutely necessary to provide facts in the case. Let me state unequivocally that Zachariah Yinger, the owner of Studio 420, did nothing remotely criminal in his operating of said establishment. The controversy surrounding a product which is thought to be cannabis is exactly that, a controversy. The product in question is the flower, resin and cartridges classified as hemp that is likewise sold in more than a half dozen stores in Alton, which includes the dispensary.

“City officials are in possession of documents, garnered through Mr. Yinger’s efforts, which unequivocally show the same product is currently being retailed at every single establishment of Mr. Yinger’s competitors. The evidence was obtained in the same way the Alton Police Department allegedly obtained from Mr. Yinger’s Studio 420, via secret purchases. The product was sent to independent and DEA-certified testing agencies, which quantified results similar to that of Mr. Yinger’s product, which exceeded the so-called allowable Delta 9 concentration of THC in all instances but one.

“The agreement which Mr. Yinger put to the city was simply he received all of his real property back, all of his vehicles, with the exception of a side-by-side, and more than half of the case was taken. In return, he would not seek any civil redress against the city and Alton Police Department, voluntarily close his business Studio 420, and agree to remove all THCa and Delta 8 products from all his stores located in Madison Country. Obviously, it goes without saying there would be no criminal charges of any kind.”

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Unsell continued and said: “Mr. Yinger has made full disclosure to all federal and state inquiries his complete financial portfolio. He provided not only financial records, but all purchase records of the questionable product along with all of the required certificates of analysis showing said product to have been certified 'hemp' and not cannabis. The United States Government identifies hemp simply as being cannabis sativa that has a Delta 9 concentration of .333 or less 30 days prior to harvest. There is absolutely no requirement to test it any further whoever it may fall within the supply chain.

“Moreover, it is likewise known that it converts, or moths, into Delta 9 through a process called carbonization when exposed to any temperatures over 67 degrees, light, oxygen and other environmental factors. This makes one wonder why the federal government would put its stamp of approval of such a loose classification of the cannabis plant if it were worried that much about the legislation?

“I submit it is a simple economic conflict between the growers of cannabis and those on the dispensary side. Individuals like Mr. Yinger, and all the other establishments in Alton that are selling this product are caught in the middle. Who is being harmed by this? It is obvious, the state is not getting its tax money and people are eschewing the dispensaries in favor of the cheaper corner markets. Mr. Yinger was simply the first, the most efficient, the biggest and most prosperous of the individuals who took advantage. The profits he made were put back into the city by buying unwanted property, spending great sums of money refurbishing and simply wanting to make a better environment of the City of Alton.

"He fully understands and acknowledges the issues with the operation of Studio 420. There were numerous instances where nicotine vapes and the hemp were sold to underage individuals. This is true, even through there exists no legal required by law for the purchase of hemp. That is not his fault, but a matter that should be taken up in the legislature. In any event, there is no evidence Mr. Yinger personally did this, but rather various employees. It has not come out, but Mr. Yiinger had numerous conversations with the mayor about this problem. A number of individuals were fired for selling underage nicotine products. He acknowledges this was a problem in his store, as it is with a lot of others and it is truly the reasons why he chose to proffer the above referenced forfeiture and surrender his Studio 420 license.”

Unsell closed by saying: “Mr. Yinger truly wants to be a respected business owner within the Alton community and feels that complete transparency is the way to achieve this. Studio 420 will simply be an extension of his residence where he plans to raise his young daughter and a small office in which he can his varied business interests.”

More like this:

Jun 12, 2024 - Alton Mayor and Alderman Applaud Legal Settlement

Jun 4, 2024 - Madison County Resolves Studio 420 Seizure Issues With Settlement

Apr 8, 2024 - Studio 420 Sales To Minors, More Detailed In Alton Police Memo

Mar 27, 2024 - Public Hearing Set: Rezoning Requested For Several Alton Properties

Apr 3, 2024 - Public Hearing Canceled: Yinger Withdraws Rezoning Request