‘Level 1 great news for cannabis summit’

“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 affect, 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
info@medcansummit.co.nz or visit


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