Medical marijuana dispensary planned for Hagerstown

Washington County's first medical cannabis dispensary is planned for a former bank building. Maryland Health and Wellness Center Inc. intends to make about $250,000 worth of renovations to transform the building at 1571 Wesel Blvd. into the dispensary, according to a building permit application on file with Hagerstown city officials. At the dispensary, patients certified under the state's medical marijuana program could buy — but not use — cannabis flowers, topical medicines and other forms of the substance, said Sean Scranton, the company's chief operating officer. (Herald-Mail)

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HomeGoods will open in former Hunt Valley Sears

Discount home decor store HomeGoods is moving into part of a former Sears department store in Hunt Valley. HomeGoods will open a nearly 22,000-square-foot store Sunday within the former Sears space at Hunt Valley Towne Center, at Shawan and York roads. Sears Holdings Corp., parent of the struggling Sears and Kmart retail chains, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday and said it plans to shutter 142 unprofitable stores. (Balt. Sun)

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October 15 // As Maryland leaders celebrate lower health insurance rates, they don't mention rising deductibles

For weeks, Maryland leaders have been touting a bipartisan deal that will allow the state’s residents to pay lower premiums to buy health insurance — the first such rate reductions in years. The deal, made by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, created a reinsurance program that uses taxpayer dollars to help insurers cover the costs of expensive health care claims — and led to a recently announced reduction of premiums of up to 17 percent. (Balt. Sun)

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Judge consolidates antitrust lawsuits against Sinclair Broadcast

A panel of federal judges has consolidated 17 lawsuits accusing Sinclair Broadcast Group and other media companies of scheming to artificially raise prices for local television advertisements. Cases pending in federal court in Maryland and Illinois will be combined with 15 related cases and heard in Illinois, a panel on multidistrict litigation ordered this week. “The actions commonly allege that the conspiracy was effectuated by sharing competitively sensitive information through … advertising sales teams in order to raise advertising prices to supracompetitive levels,” said the order, filed Tuesday. (Balt. Sun)

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Inside Pivot Creative Spaces, a co-working office opening in Catonsville

For a decade, Lisa Kuznear has operated her bookkeeping business out of her home in Howard County. She said usually people think of working from home as a good thing because it can be free of distractions and quieter than working in an office. But, she said, “you get stagnant working at home.” That’s why when she learned about a new co-working space, Pivot Creative Spaces, in Catonsville through an advertisement online, she jumped into action. Brandon Kostinsky, founder and owner of Pivot, said that so far, five individuals have purchased memberships, including an attorney and a pet store owner. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore tech startup FactoryFour announces $5 million investment

Baltimore tech startup FactoryFour said Friday it raised $5 million that will enable it to more quickly develop software that helps manufacturers manage production. The $5 million funding round was led by August Capital, a 20-year-old venture capital firm that invests in “breakthrough” startups in information technology. Refactor Capital, an existing FactoryFour investor, also participated in the round. FactoryFour, based in the city’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood, created a real time, customizable method for manufacturers to manage production. It’s designed to replace older software and manual spreadsheets that many company’s use. The firm has more than 35 customers in the U.S. and Europe and expects to grow to 100 clients by early next year. (Balt. Sun)

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Lexington Market to be the site of fashion-focused coworking operation

A new coworking operation aimed at giving fashion entrepreneurs space to grow their brands is coming to Lexington Market. Baltimore fashion designer Stacy Stube has been looking for ways to revive the city's garment business industry through programming aimed at a growing community of fashion entrepreneurs. She has served as the fashion entrepreneur in residence at the University of Baltimore's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where she has launched a Fashion Innovation Hub to help provide business training and support for local fashion makers. The coworking space and "mini factory" operation, called Fashion Collective, is the next step in those revival efforts. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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GRMC receives best score among Maryland hospitals

Garrett Regional Medical Center recently received the best biannual score among all Maryland hospitals for having the lowest occurrence of hospital-acquired conditions. The higher the score, the lower the occurrence of in-hospital complications; GRMC scored .91 percent, while the state average was .64 percent. “This statistic reflects GRMC’s multifaceted approach to delivering a high level of quality care, especially as it relates to maintaining excellence in facility cleanliness, compliance and documentation,” said Mark Boucot, GRMC president and CEO. (Times-News)

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