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NZ’s first ever medicinal cannabis summit set to take place


New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis summit, MedCan 2020, will take place on Monday and Tuesday this week at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, with over 700 registrations.

Hosted by BioTechNZ, MedCan was postponed in March due to Covid-19. Eight months later, the sell-out event has even more people registered, with healthcare professionals, industry, scientists, patient advocates and officials coming together over two days.

Delegates will hear from over 30 world-leading and local subject experts, presenting either in-person or virtually. The summit follows Friday’s confirmation that recreational cannabis will remain illegal following last month’s referendum.

“Despite the recreational cannabis referendum falling just short, 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,” says Zahra Champion, Executive Director of BioTechNZ and MedCan Summit 2020 organiser.
Dr Champion says New Zealand’s new medicinal cannabis sector is already generating new businesses, jobs, and growth. The local sector will deliver high-quality products backed by science, technology and clinical trials from next year, which will help to reduce the cost and improve accessibility for Kiwi patients.

“The benefits of New Zealand’s newest sector are enormous – both domestically and in export terms. Given the economic fall-out of Covid-19, it’s critical that our medicinal cannabis sector now thrives. So, it’s a really exciting time to all be coming together,” she says.

The summit will ensure a greater scientific and medical understanding of cannabis as well as explore the economic opportunities and navigate the new regulations that took effect in April.

“We are incredibly thankful to be able to host the event live and in person. We’re looking forward to a memorable step in the journey towards ‘New Zealand Inc’ becoming a medicinal cannabis research centre of excellence,” says Dr Zahra Champion.

All speakers are extensively profiled on MedCan Summit 2020’s dedicated website, which also includes the full two-day programme.

For more information, please contact Dr Zahra Champion, Executive Director, BioTechNZ – 021 899 732

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 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.

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.