Medicinal cannabis: Growing NZ’s economy

Demystifying the medicinal cannabis industry for Kiwi innovators is essential if the sector is to fulfil its enormous potential as a valuable contributor to the national economy.

There are many fledgling businesses out there, with an idea rooted in medicinal cannabis, that don’t know how to get started, let alone walk the path to commercialisaton.

Callaghan Innovation is thrilled to be a sponsor of MedCan Summit 2022, and to help the medicinal cannabis sector to support businesses with their R&D and innovations launch.

The industry is in its infancy, receiving the governmental green light in April 2020 when the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme came into force. This landmark move enables the manufacture and supply of local medicinal cannabis products. 

This legislation was followed by another major milestone in July 2021, when Medcan sponsor Helius Therapeutics was granted NZ’s first GMP licence to manufacture medicinal cannabis products. In October, the business brought its first medicines to market.

Those developments hint at the sector’s growth potential that will start to surface as businesses gain greater understanding of how to get started and identify opportunities.

One area where this growth could come from is in maximising use of what have traditionally been seen as low-value biological resources. Callaghan Innovation Principal Consultant Andrew Cameron and Bioresourcing Processing Alliance General Manager Anna Yallop will address that issue on day one of the MedCan Summit.

Their session will map out how innovators can seize commercial opportunities in the medicinal cannabis space, by looking beyond the primary use of biological products.

How to turn opportunities into commercial realities

Identifying opportunities in the medicinal cannabis space is only one part of the puzzle. Crucially, these opportunities need to be turned into commercially viable innovations.

On day two of the summit, Simon Yarrow, Callaghan Innovation Group Manager, Agrifood, will explore how the agency’s Medicinal Cannabis Capability Roadmap, one of three designed to assist businesses entering the hemp and medicinal cannabis industry, can tap into the huge economic potential of medicinal cannabis.

Simon will explore how Callaghan Innovation can help businesses establish themselves in the medicinal cannabis industry. He’ll also provide insights on the development and evolution of Callaghan Innovation roadmaps which are designed to guide businesses through their planning and operational entry into the industry.

The roadmaps build on lessons from other industries, such as in kiwifruit, manuka honey and wine, and offer step-by-step practical information from pre-startup through to commercialisation, including: growing, processing, extracting, formulating, trialling, and distributing.

MedCan Summit 2022 will offer practical advice that businesses can apply directly to their planning around medicinal cannabis innovations, including around fine tuning R&D/IP strategies.

Who should attend the MedCan Summit 2022?

If you’re working in the medicinal cannabis industry or want support getting a medicinal cannabis product off the ground, you won’t want to miss this event.

Callaghan Innovation is a proud bronze sponsor of MedCan Summit 2022.