New dates for medicinal cannabis summit announced

Cannabis Lab

New dates have been announced for the MedCan Summit 2020 with tickets almost totally selling out several months ago.

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.

Registered delegates attending the in-person event will hear from over 30 world-leading and local subject experts. Many 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.

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

“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.

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, CEO of Helius Therapeutics which is the summit’s foundation sponsor, 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 very pleased to help fund this event, for the advancement of the country’s medicinal cannabis industry.”

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.

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