New dates for MedCan 2020 medicinal cannabis summit announced

New dates have been announced for the MedCan Summit 2020 with tickets to the ground-breaking event nearly sold out.


MedCan 2020 will now take place at Auckland's Aotea Centre on 9-10 November

New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis summit will take place on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 November at Aotea Centre in central Auckland. Originally scheduled for March, it was postponed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.


The ground-breaking MedCan event has proven hugely popular with tickets approaching the point of being sold out. Registered delegates attending the in-person event will hear from over 30 world-leading and local subject experts. A number of international speakers will present virtually, depending on travel restrictions.


“The MedCan Summit will strictly adhere to all the public health practices and protocols set by the Government. We are really looking forward to November and are fully committed to playing a significant role in educating the sector,” says Dr Zahra Champion, Executive Director of BioTechNZ and MedCan Summit 2020 organiser.

Dr Zahra Champion, Executive Director of BioTechNZ

Confirmation of MedCan follows the country’s new Medicinal Cannabis Scheme taking effect on 1 April 2020.


“Despite the new regulations now in play, the biggest barrier to accessing medicinal cannabis still exists – that is a significant lack of knowledge regarding the remarkable benefits cannabinoid compounds can have on human health,” she says.

Dr Champion says New Zealand is strongly placed to be the premier new-world medicinal cannabis producer by leveraging its favourable growing conditions, unique strains, breeding programmes and expertise in data management​ to create “the Sauvignon Blanc of cannabis.”


“New Zealand is well placed to develop a strong cannabis sector with an agriculture export-led economy which can leverage our clean, green image and the high-quality products customers associate with New Zealand,” she says.

As well as the appealing prospect of exporting medicinal cannabis products, Dr Champion says New Zealand’s strong clinical trial sector, coupled with the country’s unique cannabis strains, create a huge opportunity to assess genetic combinations against a range of clinical outcomes.


Auckland, home of New Zealand's first medicinal cannabis conference

The Summit in November aims to connect medicine, science, industry and technology, with attendees including healthcare professionals, academics, researchers, government officials, business, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators, growers, and patients.


Paul Manning, Chief Executive Officer of Helius Therapeutics and foundation sponsor of MedCan, says Helius’ support for the event has never wavered and he’s delighted the new dates and venue have now been confirmed.  

“This is a watershed year for medicinal cannabis. Now that we have a regulatory scheme in place, MedCan is bringing together all the industry’s key stakeholders for the first time. The event will help build relationships, support healthcare professionals, and improve public health outcomes. Ensuring New Zealand's medicinal cannabis industry thrives is now more important than ever before,” says Mr Manning. "We’re pleased to fund this event, for the advancement of the country’s medicinal cannabis industry."

Paul Manning, Chief Executive Officer of Helius Therapeutics, foundation sponsor of MedCan

MedCan Summit gold sponsor SETEK Therapeutic is also excited with the announcement.


“We are thrilled to see the MedCan Summit rescheduled for November 2020 and look forward to an innovative conference in the evolving medical cannabis market,” says David Pearce, Co-Chief Executive of SETEK Therapeutics.


Summit organisers, BioTechNZ, say committed support from sponsors and delegates has ensured the event can continue. The two-day programme will closely resemble the original, CME credits still apply for the medicine workshops and conference, and limited tickets remain available for people who have not registered and would like to attend. Opportunities also exist for those who want to access the summit via live stream.


About MedCan 2020


MedCan is New Zealand’s first ever international medicinal cannabis summit, aiming to provide a catalyst for Kiwis to maximise opportunities in the country’s newest sector. The event will take place on 9-10 November 2020 at Auckland's Aotea Centre, following the launch of New Zealand’s regulated medical cannabis.



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.

“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.

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


Prof. Raphael Mechoulam is a speaker at MedCan 2020

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. Event organiser, Dr Zahra Champion of BioTechNZ, says the summit’s two-day content is designed to follow the launch of New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme, which was enacted in April this year, 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 include:



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.

MedCan is endorsement for CME credits by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP)
“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.

MedCan Summit’s monthly Webinar Series for delegates will continue until November, keeping stakeholders informed about the fast-developing medicinal cannabis industry.


For more information on the summit, please email info@medcansummit.co.nz or visit www.medcansummit.co.nz



© Helius Therapeutics 2018