BioTechNZ is hosting New Zealand’s first-ever medical cannabis summit called MedCan 2020 this week. The event is all set to take place in the Aotea Center in Aukland and is anticipating to attract over 700 participants.
What to expect at the Cannabis Summit?
The MedCan Summit is going to bring together different stakeholders of the cannabis industry under one common platform. Its intent is to educate and inform the participants on opportunities in the industry that will help them maximize returns and improve their quality of life.
It is going to first-hand information about the cannabis sector based on the expertise of scientists, businessmen, investors, policymakers, and leaders from around the world. In total, about 30 specialists will be presenting their views on the industry either virtually or directly in front of the live audience.
Subsequently, the major aim of the summit is to encourage New Zealanders to see the cannabis sector as a new opportunity. Not only is the sector expected to provide new business growth, foreign exchange, investment, and career prospects, but the tax revenues generated from it will also be phenomenal.
According to Zahra Champion, Executive Director of BioTechNZ, “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,”
Speakers in the MedCan Summit 2020
As mentioned earlier, the MedCan summit is bringing together paragons in the cannabis sector together under one roof. Even though it was due to take place in March, the global pandemic, social distancing, and travel restriction have caused a delay of about eight months its proceedings.
As of now some international speakers who are expected to be present for the summit, either virtually or in-person are as follows:
Dr. David Hepburn, MD: Medical Advisor, CloudForest Peru
Dr. David Hepburn is a member of a number of cannabis advocacy groups which include the Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC), International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM), the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC), and Physicians for Medical Cannabis (PMC).
During his address with the audience, he is going to shed some light on the Current issues with the stigma of Cannabis. This session is due to be held on Tuesday. Timings are listed on the official website of the MedCan Summit.
Dr. Stewart Washer: Executive Chairman, Emerald Clinics
The resume of Dr.Stewart Washer is very versatile and overpowering like many other participating speakers of the MedCan Summit. In addition to holding different executive positions in many companies, he is working as the Executive Chairman of Emerald Clinics, Director of Cynata Therapeutics and Director of Botanix.
He will be holding a session on An unexpected journey, from biotech to cannabis medicine and back again.
Andrea Eng: Manager, Regulatory Practice And Analysis, Medsafe, Ministry Of Health
Her name is very known in the public sector due to her services and dedication to NZ. She has served as the General Manager of the Hazardous Substances Group and the Environmental Risk Management Authority in NZ.
She is going to deliver her session on Medical Cannabis Agency and the New Zealand environment.
Other speakers who would be sharing their two cents on the issue include names like:
Chris James, Medsafe, Group Manager
Dr. Mark Hotu, GP, Green Doctors, and
Dr. Liza Schneider, BVSc, Director / Veterinarian, Holistic Vets among
In addition to this, 26 other champions from the cannabis sector will be sharing their expertise with the audiences.
Cannabis Legalization efforts in New Zealand
Last month, a referendum on cannabis legalization was held in New Zealand. The results revealed on November 6th showed that about 48% of the nation was in favor of legalizing the drug. In contrast, about 51% opposed its legalization.
Although this time legalization effort fell short by a few votes, it still has a staggering percentage of supporters. This shows that the industry has a lot of scope for the future. According to Dr. Champion, the medical cannabis sector of the country is already providing employment and business opportunities to the masses.
Looking at the economic downturn brought about COVID-19, the cannabis industry has become a lifeline for many economies. With the MedCan Summit, New Zealanders will be better able to understand the industry and fuel economic growth. This will help them enhance their standard of living, and bring in tax revenues for the government.