“With New Zealand’s cannabis businesses now delivering for Kiwi patients and set to export, February’s MedCan is perfectly timed to bring the sector and many key stakeholders together,” says Carmen Doran, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics.
Helius is the foundation sponsor of the country’s largest medicinal cannabis summit, MedCan 2022. Given New Zealand is in the red setting of the Covid Protection Framework, the two-day industry event will be run virtually on 10 and 11 February.
Ms Doran says with its GMP Licence to Manufacture Medicines issued mid-last year and its export strategy to be unleashed this year, Helius is thrilled to be playing an active part at MedCan 2022.
It comes as Helius has signed New Zealand’s largest supply contract with Marlborough-based organic cultivator Puro. The five-year deal will further enhance Kiwis’ access to locally made cannabis medicines as well as provide much needed scale for international success.
On MedCan’s first morning, Carmen Doran will join other key local cannabis leaders on a CEO panel, discussing ‘The state of play of New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry in 2022 and beyond’. She’ll then moderate the ‘Women in the medicinal cannabis industry’ panel.
Internationally, the fast-growing medicinal cannabis sector sees many women in significant leadership roles, with the value of the global cannabis market expected to grow three-fold to over $60b in 2025.
“At Helius we’re no exception. Our Chair, Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer, and Managing Director of our subsidiary company, Hale Animal Health, are women. New Zealand’s newest industry is certainly no boys club - exemplified by Executive Director of BioTechNZ, Dr Zahra Champion, leading MedCan,” says Ms Doran.
In the Science stream, Helius’ Cultivation Manager Kai Keli’iho’omalu will speak about understanding the diseases that threaten New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry.
On the second day, Helius Director Dr Rick Acland will MC the dedicated Healthcare Professionals Forum where Helius Advisory Board member James Yu will present from a pharmacist’s perspective.
Other key discussions include Ms Doran talking with Auckland University of Technology (AUT) medicinal cannabis expert Associate Professor Ali Seyfoddin about finding, attracting and retaining talent in the industry.
Helius recently announced a partnership with Dr Seyfoddin which sees it working alongside AUT doctoral students, researching and developing advanced medicinal cannabis products.
“The success of New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry relies not only on innovation but strong cross-sector collaboration. MedCan 2022 provides a unique opportunity to strengthen connections, and for GPs to grow their knowledge about this new and exciting frontier of care,” says Carmen Doran.
More than 30 international and local speakers will present at the summit including scientists, medical experts, clinicians, entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers.