International cannabis experts to star at MedCan

New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis summit, including a one-day Healthcare Professionals Forum, is about to kick off, with MedCan 2022 taking place virtually this Thursday and Friday – 10 and 11 February.

“We’ve got some outstanding international and national thought leaders presenting, covering all aspects of the medicinal cannabis sector. It’s set to be a great couple of days with more than 350 delegates registered,” says Dr Zahra Champion, executive director of BioTechNZ and MedCan Summit 2022 organiser.

Over 30 speakers at this week’s MedCan Summit will cover everything from seed to sale, clinical trials, prescribing, regulatory and sector roadmap updates, as well as the health and economic benefits to New Zealand.

Health Minister, Andrew Little will address delegates on the first morning, with the opening keynote from futurist Melissa Clark-Reynolds titled ‘How is the medicinal cannabis industry shaping up globally?’

International speakers include Dr Adele Hosseini, chief scientific officer at Bod Australia and a pioneer in the Australian medicinal cannabis industry. Dr Hosseini has significant experience in the development and delivery of clinical trials for pharmaceutical cannabis, and will speak about her long Covid-19 trial that is just beginning.

Doctors and pharmacists attending MedCan’s one-day Healthcare Professionals Forum will hear from medical experts including chief medical officer at ZYUS Life Sciences, Dr Lionel Marks de Chabris – a Canadian expert in treating chronic pain with medicinal cannabis. At the same time, clinical director at Green Doctors Medicinal Cannabis Clinic, Dr Mark Hotu will offer his on-the-ground insights with Kiwi patients.

Delegates will also get the opportunity to have a fireside chat with Dr Bonni Goldstein, a California-based medical director at Canna-Centers Wellness & Education who is dedicated to educating patients about the use of cannabis for serious medical conditions.

Dr Anna Campbell will discuss opportunities to run an internationally competitive structured plant breeding programme for New Zealand, while Puro’s cultivation director Tom Forrest will cover world-leading indoor and outdoor approaches to successfully growing high yielding medicinal cannabis plants. Delegates will also hear from David Downs, chief executive of New Zealand Story, who will present on ‘Adding value to the medicinal cannabis sector with New Zealand’s brand’.

Dr Champion says MedCan 2022, is designed to be a highly interactive event with both delegates and registered media able to watch the live sessions, engage in roundtable discussions, and access on-demand content.

The event’s Foundation sponsor, Helius Therapeutics, says it’s significant that MedCan’s one-day dedicated Healthcare Professionals Forum has endorsement from both The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand.

“While every New Zealand GP can now prescribe medicinal cannabis, many still lack the knowledge or confidence to do so. It’s heartening for Kiwi patients, however, that increasing numbers of healthcare professionals are now genuinely curious and educating themselves. Critically, GP attendance at MedCan will further improve patient access to medicinal cannabis,” says Carmen Doran, chief executive of Helius Therapeutics.

MedCan Summit 2022 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. Foundation sponsor is Helius Therapeutics. Gold sponsor is Eqalis, with Silver sponsors Elysian and CannaPlus+. Puro, Callaghan Innovation and Shimadzu are Bronze sponsors, with 11 companies also supporting MedCan 2022 as exhibitors.

Click here to view the full programme.

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