printer icon

Level 1 great news for cannabis summit – waiting list now open

“Alert Level 1 is exciting news for large and important events like ours,” says Dr Zahra Champion, Executive Director of BioTechNZ and MedCan Summit 2020 organiser in response to the Prime Minister’s confirmation that Auckland will join the rest of the country on Level 1 at 12.59pm on Wednesday, 7 October. 

In fact, New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis summit, MedCan 2020, has already sold out. A waiting list, however, is now open for those wanting to attend, with Level 1 set to accommodate more delegates.

“For appropriate risk management, our planning is based on Auckland being at Level 2 and the summit being managed into separate streams. However, if we’re still at Level 1 come early November, we can welcome even more delegates. In the meantime, we encourage healthcare professionals, in particular, to get on our waiting list,” says Dr Champion.

MedCan Summit 2020 will take place on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 November at the Aotea Centre in central Auckland. Originally scheduled for March, it was postponed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Almost every delegate, speaker, and sponsor has remained 100% committed to being part of MedCan 2020 despite the eight-month delay due to the lockdowns and restrictions. In fact, perhaps the summit’s timing is even better now given New Zealand’s Covid-19 economic recovery and the growing importance of our newest sunrise industry when it comes to generating new businesses, jobs, and growth,” she says.

She says it’s also advantageous that the landmark summit will take place with the country’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme now in place, and with the high-profile but unrelated referendum on recreational cannabis then behind us.

As well as exploring the economic opportunities and navigating the new regulations, MedCan Summit 2020 will ensure a greater scientific and medical understanding of cannabis.

Dr Champion says six months on from the regulations taking effect, it remains clear that many healthcare professionals still don’t know enough about medicinal cannabis, which remains the biggest barrier to Kiwi patients accessing products via prescription.

“We are now calling on prescribers and pharmacists to get their names down on our waiting list. Over many years, Kiwi patients and their advocates have successfully pushed for improved access to medicinal cannabis. The only thing now standing in their way is our GPs upskilling themselves,” she says. 

On 9 and 10 November, MedCan 2020 delegates will hear from over 40 world-leading and local subject experts, presenting either in-person or virtually. All speakers are extensively profiled on MedCan’s dedicated website, which also includes the full two-day programme.

For more information on the summit, please email or visit

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 40 international and New Zealand subject experts (scientists, medical experts, clinicians, entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers) 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.

BioTechNZ Our aim is to raise awareness and increase the understanding to enable our nation to embrace the best opportunities biotech offers to us daily, helping us live better, healthier and more productive lives.