MedCan Summit 2020 confirms 30 world-leading speakers

Updated: Feb 11, 2020

MedCan organisers have confirmed that 30 subject experts will present at New Zealand’s first international medicinal cannabis summit on 18-19 March 2020 at SkyCity, Auckland.

Scientists, medical experts, clinicians, entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers, both international and Kiwis will present up to date information, learnings and first-hand insights on this new frontier of care.

Organised by BioTechNZ, MedCan 2020 will take place at Auckland’s SkyCity Convention Centre on Thursday 19 March, with pre-summit workshops to be held on 18 March.

MedCan 2020's venue: SkyCity Convention Centre, Federal Street, Auckland
“We have some incredible speakers coming in from all around the world, as well as a number of highly talented Kiwis closely associated with medicinal cannabis. With just over one month to go, excitement is building,” says Dr Zahra Champion, Executive Director of BioTechNZ and spokesperson for MedCan Summit 2020.

MedCan 2020 is dedicated to ‘connecting medicine, science, industry and technology’. The main summit and workshop programmes are available on the event's website.

Professor Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, the "Godfather of Medicinal Cannabis"

Event attendees will hear from some of the world's greatest thought leaders in medicinal cannabis research, development, cultivation, manufacturing and prescribing. International experts will be joined by some of the top minds here in New Zealand. Speakers include:

The event's expert speakers will also be joined by several patient advocates including Katy Thomas whose son, Eddy, suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, treated with CBD. Also speaking is Lanai Carter whose son, Lindsay, became the first federally-approved botanical medical cannabis patient in Australia.

Dr Zahra Champion, Executive Director, BioTechNZ

Dr Champion says the summit’s two-day content is designed around the fact that New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme takes effect from 1 April, with the industry’s many stakeholders hungry for information and collaboration across a broad range of complex areas.

She says registrations are coming in fast, with spaces limited and the number of summit supporters continue to grow. The many major organisations involved so far include:

  • Callaghan Innovation

  • Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI)

  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

  • Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED)

  • New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE)

  • Agritech New Zealand

  • AgResearch

  • Plant & Food Research

  • NZTech Alliance

New Zealand's largest medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics, has been announced as the foundation sponsor of MedCan 2020. Another kiwi cannabis company, Setek Therapeutics, is a gold sponsor. Shimadzu and Spectrum Therapeutics are silver sponsors, with Cannasouth signing on as a networking sponsor. A number of other industry organisations will be exhibiting.

The event's organisers have also confirmed that the educational component of MedCan 2020 has been given approval for CME endorsement by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) as well as the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) Enhance Professional Development.

“Perfectly timed to align with the regulations coming into effect, MedCan Summit marks an enormous opportunity for New Zealand to unlock the full potential of medicinal cannabis,” says Dr Zahra Champion.

For more information on the summit, you can email or visit

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