Healthcare professionals encouraged to attend cannabis summit

With the availability of highly desired local medicinal cannabis products fast approaching, healthcare professionals are being encouraged to attend MedCan 2021.



The call comes as MedSafe has issued the local industry’s first GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) Licence to Manufacture Medicines to Helius Therapeutics. With other local companies also set for GMP certification, Kiwi patients can expect high-quality and more affordable New Zealand medicinal cannabis products by the end of this year.


Focused on ‘a new frontier of care’, the well-timed Medcan 2021 Summit will connect medicine, science, industry and technology. It will take place at Cordis Auckland hotel, in Auckland's central business district, on 12 and 13 October.


“We’re putting the call out to patients currently using, or interested in, medicinal cannabis to encourage their doctor or pharmacist to attend. MedCan 2021 is the best opportunity healthcare professionals have this year to better equip themselves to prescribing medicinal cannabis products,” says Dr Zahra Champion, Executive Director of BioTechNZ and MedCan Summit 2021 organiser.

The 500-plus attendees expected in person and digitally will hear from over 30 subject experts. Speakers include international and local scientists, medical experts, clinicians, entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers.


Dr Zahra Champion speaks at the inaugural MedCan 2020 event

MedCan’s full two-day programme has now been released and registrations are open, with early bird discounts applying until 31 August. Once again, the summit has designed a specific stream for healthcare professionals.


The one-day Healthcare Professional Forum will see experts present on the endocannabinoid system, clinical data, the applications and prescribing of medicinal cannabis in medical practice.


“We are keen for more GPs to attend given they’re critical to patient access. Further, the educational components of MedCan 2021 have been endorsed by The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand; and endorsement from RNZCGP is currently under submission,” says Dr Champion.

MedCan’s foundation sponsor, Helius Therapeutics, says a dedicated forum for healthcare professionals is timely given local products will start to become available in the coming months.


“MedCan 2021’s full day Health Professionals programme is a big drawcard for more GPs, and the likes of pharmacists, to attend. As well as the Medicine forum, organisers have put together two impressive Science and Industry streams. Helius is delighted to once again sponsor MedCan – an incredibly important annual summit for our sector and country,” says Carmen Doran, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics.


Other key supporters confirmed include gold sponsor Eqalis and bronze sponsor Puro – both also local medicinal cannabis businesses. Organisers say other sponsorship, exhibition and networking packages remain available.


With last year’s inaugural MedCan 2020 a sell-out success, New Zealand’s only medicinal cannabis summit will comprehensively explore a wide array of local and global opportunities and challenges.


“Over $100 million has been invested so far in New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry. It’s been a long and tough road, but delivery of high-quality cost-effective local products is now imminent. There’s huge anticipation from patients, and rest assured our local industry cannot wait to deliver. Everyone is well and truly up for it,” says Dr Champion.

Industry experts will present the latest scientific findings and breakthrough technologies. Areas such as cultivating, manufacturing, New Zealand's regulations, export, clinical trials, and investment, will be well canvased.


“The invaluable insights gained at Medcan 2021 will help local companies accelerate their path to market. Education, innovation and collaboration are key to the success of New Zealand’s newest and most exciting industry,” says Dr Zahra Champion.

For more information on the summit, please email info@medcansummit.co.nz or visit the event's official website.


MedCan Summit 2021 is organised by NZTech and BioTechNZ – a not for profit, membership-funded organisation with the goal of maximising New Zealand’s bioscience and technology capability to create a strong New Zealand bioeconomy.


BioTechNZ is part of the New Zealand Tech Alliance.

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