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QLabs to open new facility

QLabs will open a new location on the South Side’s Thayer Street, in a long-empty building that formerly served as West Virginia Lottery headquarters.

Owners Steven and Mary Collins maintain QLabs’ current location, 4918 MacCorkle Ave., in Kanawha City. It will remain in business, Mary Collins said. No firm date has been set for the new building’s opening, but workers have been busy in recent weeks getting it ready.

QLabs gained notice as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold for its accuracy and speed in COVID-19 testing. It became the state’s designated provider for testing events. The Collins’ founded QLabs in 2017.

QLabs’ future second home is a large, nondescript structure not far from the Charleston train station.

Hillfire Cannabis job fair draws dozens of applicants

Hillfire Medical Cannabis, in partnership with the Jackson County Development Authority, held a job fair Dec. 8 at the Jackson County Armed Forces Reserve Readiness Center in Millwood.

Hillfire held 54 interviews in a “speed dating” style to ensure every interested applicant in attendance spent at minimum of five minutes with a Hillfire team member. Hillfire Medical Cannabis is a partnership creation between Tariff Labs of Spencer and Firelands Scientific of Huron, Ohio.

Hillfire was announced in October of 2021 with the building of a growing facility in Millwood. Construction is currently on track.

“We had a great turn out and it showed how much excitement the community has for the program,” said Dave Heeter, founder of Hillfire Medical Cannabis. “This job fair was a great start to our relationship in our home state of West Virginia, and specifically Roane and Jackson counties.”

Bullock Distillery opens Saturday

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Elk City developer Tighe Bullock will open The Bullock Distillery from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 121 Washington St.

The $1 million project, in the works for the past few years, will initially offer a house-made grape vodka, a barrel-aged gin and rye whiskey, the latter two purchased from a New York state distillery. Slated for release sometime next year is something akin to moonshine, which Bullock is tentatively calling “White Dog.”

“We can really produce some major volume out of this place,” Bullock said.

Charleston native new COO of Dent Wizard

Charleston native Addison Thomas has been promoted to president of Dent Wizard International, the largest provider of vehicle reconditioning services in North America. Thomas is also the company’s chief operating officer.

Thomas has served as Dent Wizard’s COO since 2018, leading the company’s core service operations team. He served in various roles with Dent Wizard over the past 20 years, including vice president of operations.

Dent Wizard International, established in 1983, offers services like paintless dent removal, minor paint and bumper repair, wheel repair, interior repair, windshield repair, detail services, appraisal and catastrophe support, and key origination and duplication.

E-Z Pass drivers may renew plans

Beginning Jan. 1, drivers who took advantage of West Virginia’s E-Z Pass Single Fee Discount Plan will be able to renew their plans for one year for $26.25.

If a patron has a valid, unexpired credit card on file, the E-Z Pass will be renewed automatically. The E-Z Pass gives drivers of the West Virginia Turnpike unlimited use of the toll road for an annual fee.

On Jan. 1, the cash toll for Class I passenger vehicles will be adjusted to $4.25 per toll booth as provided for in legislation passed by the Legislature. Cars or trucks pulling a trailer and motor homes will pay $5.25. Motor homes pulling a trailer will pay $6.75.

Greg Stone covers business. He can be reached at 304-348-5124 or

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