The medicinal cannabis scheme is expected to have a significant impact on many patients who will be benefiting from the medicinal compound, whilst expanding the country’s economy via exporting opportunities.
The final details pertaining to the local Medicinal Cannabis Scheme were announced towards the end of 2019. Since then Kiwi officials have been striving to ensure that research and development licence-holders are well equipped to take the next steps. These include applying for commercial cultivation and manufacturing licences, so that local companies are able to start production.

Finally launched on April 1st 2020, the scheme is believed to have a significant impact on many patients who will be benefiting from the medicinal compound. Moreover, it will expand the country’s economy via exporting opportunities and the multiple industries involved in sales and production, adding to the country’s GDP.

The initiative is operating via GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards, which will ensure the quality and consistency of cannabinoid-based medicines. This serves to assure medical practitioners that they are prescribing safe and high quality products.

MedCan Summit 2021

To this effect, MedCan Summit 2021 will for the second consecutive year be bringing together industry, healthcare professionals, scientists, government officials and patient advocates, with aim of educating and creating fruitful professional networks.

“This year’s focus will be on providing solutions and practical advice on the issues and challenges we’re facing, including exporting, investment, and regulation. We will also examine the latest medical and scientific findings, as well as breakthrough technologies, globally,” says Zahra Champion, Executive Director of BioTechNZ and MedCan Summit 2021 organiser.

A one-day Healthcare Professional Forum will see experts present on the endocannabinoid system, clinical data, the applications and prescribing of medicinal cannabis in medical practice. “We are keen for more GPs to attend given they’re critical to patient access. Further, the educational components of MedCan 2021 have been endorsed by The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand; and endorsement from RNZCGP is currently under submission,” said Champion.

Event sponsor Helius Therapeutics is granted the industry’s first GMP licence

The event is sponsored by New Zealand’s largest licenced medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics, which has just been granted the industry’s first GMP licence. This enables the brand to manufacture cannabis medicines locally by MedSafe. By gaining this licence, Helius joins the likes of Douglas Pharmaceuticals and becomes the 20th on Medsafe’s list of medicine manufacturers organisations in New Zealand.

“The GMP licencing process has been exhaustive, and rightly so. We’re making medicines, so there is no room for cutting corners. Helius pulled together an internationally-experienced leadership team from both the pharmaceutical and medicinal cannabis industries to successfully achieve this level of compliance,” said Doran.

Medicinal Cannabis Summit Confirmed For October 2021

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