New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Conference: MedCan Summit 2020

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New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme is operating via GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards, which will ensure the quality and consistency of cannabinoid-based medicines.

The final details pertaining to the local Medicinal Cannabis Scheme were announced late last year, and since then Kiwi officials have strived to ensure that research and development licence-holders have been well equipped to take the next steps. These included applying for the likes of commercial cultivation and manufacturing licences, so that local companies are able to start production.

Finally launched on April 1st, the scheme is believed to have a significant impact on many patients who will be benefiting from the medicinal compound, Moreover, it will expand the country’s economy via exporting opportunities and the multiple industries involved in sales and production, adding to the country’s GDP. The initiative is operating via GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards, which will ensure the quality and consistency of cannabinoid-based medicines. This serves to assure medical practitioners that they are prescribing safe and high quality products.

Referendum voters opposed legalizing cannabis for personal use

Sadly, the preliminary negative results of a referendum on the legalisation of cannabis for personal use, which took place last month, means that cannabis will for now remain only available for medicinal purposes. This means that there will be delays in local production and therefore Kiwis will for now be facing financial barriers in accessing the medicinal kind, as only expensive overseas products will be available for a while.

“At this time, there are still access issues surrounding medicinal cannabis, with cost being one of the greatest barriers. So, a lot of patients were hoping the referendum would pass and provide affordable access to cannabis products for wellness purposes,” says Paul Manning, co-founder of Helius Therapeutics.

A conference on Medicinal Cannabis

The summit will ensure a greater scientific and medical understanding of cannabis, as well as exploring the economic opportunities and navigating the new regulations.

However, added Manning, while the local industry is still in its establishment phase, help is still on the way for patients counting on the compund. An upcoming summit will ensure a greater scientific and medical understanding of cannabis, as well as exploring the economic opportunities and navigating the new regulations.

“Let’s now return our focus to medicinal cannabis and all the benefits New Zealand’s most exciting sunrise industry will deliver, including hundreds of millions of extra export dollars in the coming years,” said Dr. Zahra Champion, Executive Director of BioTechNZ and MedCan Summit 2020 (MedCan 2020) organiser. She added that New Zealand is well placed to play a key role in the fast-growing global medicinal cannabis industry which is forecast to be worth US$55 billion by 2025.

“New Zealand is poised to develop and deliver high-quality products backed by science, technology and clinical trials. In fact, given all the economic uncertainty with Covid-19, it’s even more critical that New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry thrives. It’s exciting then that we’re all coming together in November to ensure its success,” she says.

The summit organisers are encouraging health professionals to attend the summit which will take place on the 9th and 10th of November, especially those who can attend in person. MedCan 2020 delegates will hear from over 30 of the world’s (and local) experts on the topic, who will be presenting either in-person or virtually. All speakers are extensively profiled on MedCan 2020’s dedicated website, which also includes the full two-day programme. For more information, interested parties are encouraged to email on: info@medcansummit.co.nz or visit www.medcansummit.co.nz

About MedCan Summit 2020

MedCan Summit 2020 is New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis summit. The summit will educate and enable the New Zealand medicinal cannabis sector, ensuring that New Zealanders are equipped to maximise the opportunities that medicinal cannabis brings, both improving the quality of life and fuelling economic growth.

The 9 – 10 November summit at Auckland’s Aotea Centre follows New Zealand’s new medicinal cannabis regulations taking effect on 1 April 2020.

Over 30 international and New Zealand subject experts (scientists, medical experts, clinicians, entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers) will share up to date information, learnings and first-hand insights on this new frontier of care, covering the medicine, science and industry aspects of medicinal cannabis.

The educational sessions at MedCan Summit 2020 have been approved 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 Summit 2020 has been made possible thanks to foundation sponsor Helius Therapeutics; gold sponsor, SETEK Therapeutics; silver sponsors, AJ Park, Shimadzu; and networking sponsor, Cannasouth. 

MedCan Summit 2020 is organised by BioTech New Zealand (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. www.medcansummit.co.nz

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