New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis conference was held in November 2020. Less than a year later, registrations are open for MedCan 2021. “Academics, researchers, government officials, doctors, businesspeople, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators, growers, and patients cannot afford to miss October’s MedCan Summit 2021. It marks the sunrise industry’s true starting line, as local producers are taking positive steps towards being in market,” reads a release pertaining to the Summit.

MedCan Summit 2021

With over $100 million invested in the local medicinal cannabis industry “2021 is our year to shine.”
Executive Director of BioTechNZ and MedCan Summit 2021 organiser, Dr Zahra Champion, said that with over $100 million invested in the local medicinal cannabis industry “2021 is our year to shine.”

MedCan 2021 will help local companies accelerate their path to market through valuable insights to exporting, innovation and education. We’ll present the latest medical and scientific findings and breakthrough technologies, and we’ll explore the current challenges and opportunities around the likes of investment, agritech, pharma manufacturing, and clinical trials,” added Champion.

The event will connect medicine, industry, science and technology, and will feature leading international and national thought leaders. The areas covered in the discussions will include seed to sale, clinical trials, prescribing, patient case studies, as well as the social, cultural and economic benefits of the products to New Zealand.

“Local companies have been plugging away for three years now and have invested heavily. It has been a costly entrepreneurial endeavour, but Kiwi companies are on the precipice of market entry which is great news for suffering patients here and abroad,” said Champion.

Barriers in accessing medicinal cannabis

Last year’s negative results of the referendum on the legalisation of cannabis for personal use, means that cannabis will for now remain only available for medicinal purposes. Paul Manning, co-founder of Helius Therapeutics, had explained that this outcome would lead to delays in local production. He highlighted that this would equate to Kiwis facing financial barriers in accessing the medicinal kind, as only expensive overseas products would be available for a while.

“At this time, there are still access issues surrounding medicinal cannabis, with cost being one of the greatest barriers. So, a lot of patients were hoping the referendum would pass and provide affordable access to cannabis products for wellness purposes,” explained Manning.

New Zealand: The Financial Barriers to Medicinal Cannabis

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