Cannabis summit goes virtual

Dr Zahra Champion speaking at the MedCan 2020 summit.

New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis summit is set to run virtually this month.

More than 30 international and local speakers will present at MedCan Summit 2022 on February 10 and 11 including scientists, medical experts, clinicians, entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers.

A dedicated one-day Healthcare Professional Forum with endorsements from The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand will also be featured.

MedCan Summit is described as bringing “a solid foundation of scientific understanding for the advancement of medicinal cannabis industry, and health professionals”.

The upcoming summit is organised by NZTech and BioTechNZ – a “non-for-profit member-ship funded organisation with the goal of maximising”.

“So many people have been looking forward to it,” Dr Zahra Champion, executive director of BioTech NZ and MedCan organiser, says.

“The safety of the MedCan attendees, speakers, sponsors and staff is our top priority.”

If New Zealand was in orange, the summit would’ve been held at Auckland’s Cordis hotel.

Champion says that they are committed to hosting a highly interactive virtual event.

“It enables attendees to watch live sessions and access on-demand content. Attendees can engage with summit speakers through questions and polls, join the roundtables, view the exhibition virtually and book one-on-one meetings with other attendees and sponsors,” she says.

MedCan’s foundation sponsor, East Tamaki-based Helius Therapeutics, is delighted the occasion will become virtual. “It’s a very important time for the sector,” Carmen Doran, chief executive of Helius, says.

On the first morning of the summit, Doran is set to discuss, amongst other local cannabis leaders, ‘The state of play of NZ’s medicinal cannabis industry and beyond’ on a CEO panel.

Other key discussions include Doran talking with Auckland University of Technology (AUT) medicinal cannabis expert Associate Professor Ali Seyfoddin about finding, attracting and retaining talent in the industry.

This comes after Helius announced a partnership with Seyfoddin which will see it working with AUT doctoral students, researching and developing medicinal cannabis products.

“MedCan 2022 provides a unique opportunity to strengthen connections, and for GPs to grow their knowledge about this new and exciting frontier of care,” Doran says.