Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey Medical Pot Dispensary Receives Las Vegas Approval

The Las Vegas City Council has announced that famed poker pro and Vegas resident Phil Ivey is among 26 would-be applicants who have passed the first round of approval processes for opening a medical pot dispensary in Las Vegas.  The Phil Ivey medical pot dispensary application was among 50 that were reviewed by the seven-member City Council at Wednesday’s hearing.

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey, this year’s most expensive player

Eleven more applications were denied outright, while the remainder were set aside for further consideration at a later hearing or withdrawn in advance of the hearing at the applicants’ request.  Only 11 of the 26 applications receiving this initial approval are expected to be awarded licenses within the city.

In all, Nevada, expects to award up to 66 medical-marijuana dispensary licenses across the entire state, with many of those being distributed in the metropolitan Las Vegas area, if not necessarily within the city’s boundaries.  The 26 applicants who passed this first step in the process must now receive state approval from Nevada regulators, before returning to face a final vote from the same seven-member City Council on a general suitability vote.

All applicants were required to submit location, business planning, and development projections as part of the initial application process.  The list of would-be dispensary locations included in the applications were comprised of unused businesses and strip-mall facilities scattered across the city.

Ivey, who’s been in the news more frequently than any other poker pro of late, was one of a handful of well-known applicants to receive approval in the controversial process, which has drawn plenty of attention in Las Vegas and throughout the state.  Wednesday’s preliminary approval hearing was almost shelved before getting underway, with Councilman Bob Coffin attempting to delay the proceedings until the separate state approvals have been issued.

Coffin’s motion failed on a 3-3-1 vote, with Council member and current Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman abstaining.  Goodman and former Las Vegas Oscar Goodman are the parents of Ross Goodman, who is party to one of the dispensary applications that was also approved on Wednesday.

According to a Las Vegas Review Journal report, other well-known applicants who received approval on Wednesday included “restaurateur Michael Morton, downtown entrepreneur Michael Cornthwaite, developer James Hammer, former state Sen. Mark James, political consultant David Thomas and professional poker player Phil Ivey.”

Information on the 26 successful applications, many of them made by limited-liability corporate groups, including the one involving Ivey, can be found on the Vegas City Council’s summary of events for the meeting.  Among the applications not approved by the City Council at this time was one from a group including another prominent Vegas-based pro, Antonio Esfandiari.


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