August 15 // Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank quits Trump panel

Under Armour founder Kevin Plank became the second CEO to resign from President Donald J. Trump’s advisory jobs panel on Monday after the president was widely criticized for not quickly denouncing groups that marched at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Plank’s statement, issued Monday evening, made no mention of the president or the weekend events in Charlottesville, in which 19 people were injured and a woman was killed when a car plowed into counter-protesters. Another dozen or so people were injured in clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters and two state troopers were killed in a related helicopter crash. “I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council,” Plank said. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland regulators approve eight new medical marijuana growers

Maryland’s medical marijuana regulators approved final licenses for eight growing companies on Monday, allowing them to start cultivating the drug. Several companies said they are ready to begin growing immediately, while others say they will take weeks to get started. “Now, we have a real industry,” said Cary Millstein, CEO of newly licensed grower Freestate Wellness in Howard County. Until Monday, just one of the 15 selected firms had received final permission to start cultivating medical marijuana, which was first legalized in the state in 2013. Even at full capacity, one firm could not produce nearly enough to support 102 planned dispensaries. (Balt. Sun)

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Merritt Properties buys Towson office building for $24.55 million

Merritt Properties said Monday that it has acquired a five-story Towson office building for $24.55 million. The previous owner, listed as The Realty Associates Fund IX L.P. of Rockville in state records, could not be reached for comment. The 121,414-square-foot building at 100 West Road is 100 percent occupied, though 2,174 square feet will come available for rent early next year, according to Merritt. The building features a large atrium, conference center, cafe and fitness center. (Balt. Sun)

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Crowdfunding initiative for women-owned startups comes to Maryland

iFundWomen, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to helping women-led businesses find support, is launching in Maryland in partnership with the incubator Betamore, PNC Bank, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore and Athena PowerLink. The online hub, known as iFundWomen Maryland, allows users to donate money — similar to GoFundMe or Kickstarter — to help female entrepreneurs in the Maryland area fund their startups and small businesses. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Lockheed Martin wins massive special forces contract

Lockheed Martin Corp. has been named prime contractor of U.S. Special Operations Command's largest contract vehicle — an award with an $8 billion ceiling. The Bethesda-based defense company will manage the Special Operations Forces Global Logistics Support Services program under the 10-year contract, providing platform and equipment repair, supply chain management and infrastructure support both in the U.S. and internationally. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Food truck fight goes to court

Feeling a food truck? If you are in the Baltimore area you might find yourself waiting a little longer before eating a treat on the street.  On Monday, a city circuit court judge ruled the food truck case should go to trial. The city currently bans any food truck from being within 300 feet of any brick-and-mortor business that sells a similar food or provide a similar service. The Institute for Justice says the 300 foot ban is there to protect businesses from competition, but is not necessarily fair. "The 300-foot ban is a textbook example of unconstitutional economic favoritism," explained Greg Reed, an attorney with the Institute of Justice. (WMAR)

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SAFT batteries fuel racecars and jets

The secret to powering F-35 military jets, satellites and race cars are very light, relatively small batteries. That's right, batteries. In Cockeysville, SAFT batteries has produced and innovated lithium-ion batteries for the last 50 years. It's a complicated and sensitive process. Walking through the facility we passed bags of material that looked like giant bricks. Those contained carbon. Next to it were barrels, containing dog food-looking brown bags of lithium ion. SAFT orders the material from South American mines. (WMAR)

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Fast-growing Aldi opening its first Howard County store

Discount grocer Aldi is planning to open its first location in Howard County inside the Gateway Overlook shopping center. A flyer for the 526,000-square-foot Elkridge shopping center from KLNB, which is handling the leasing, shows that Aldi is planning to take 22,673 square feet, but an opening date is not listed. Aldi's website also lists a number of job openings for the space, including store associates and shift managers. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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