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MedCan2020 will help launch Kiwi medical cannabis industry - BiotechNZ

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The medicinal cannabis industry will significantly boost the New Zealand economy, BiotechNZ executive director Dr Zahra Champion says.

If the regulations around this new productive industry sector is managed correctly, the trade could prove to be extremely lucrative. More than 60 countries are legalising medical cannabis, she says.

"We need to manage the agricultural component, manage the manufacturing component and manage the international business component so we can extract added value from this particular product."

BiotechNZ is staging the first national medical cannabis summit in Auckland next March.

"The purpose of MedCan2020 is to learn about the New Zealand medicinal cannabis sector. We want to ensure Kiwis are equipped to maximise the opportunities that medicinal cannabis brings - improving quality of life and fuelling economic growth."

MedCan 2020 is attracting leading experts, scientists, clinicians, entrepreneurs, investors, leaders and policy makers who want to share the latest trends about the world of medicinal cannabis.

"The strengths of New Zealand’s medical science, research and development and biotech ecosystems is providing the perfect base from which to grow this new sector as successful medicinal cannabis production will need to leverage medical and technical knowhow including biotechnology and the latest digital production processes.

It is estimated that one in six New Zealand adults suffers from chronic pain, and unrelieved chronic pain may produce functional impairment, social isolation and emotional distress.

Dr Maria-Fernanda Arboleda, the international director medical services at Khiron Life Sciences Corp in Canada and a speaker at MedCan 2020 on March 19 next year, says treatment is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach.

"Medical cannabis can be incorporated as an adjunct for chronic pain therapy to produce a positive impact in health-related quality of life of these patients, improving their ability to cope as well as their functional and emotional status," Dr Arboleda says.

According to researchers, the cannabis market will continue to progress and grow worldwide in the coming years. Studies have found the worldwide support and spending of the plant are capable of reaching $US57 billion in the future.

A New Zealand industry based on medical cannabis and commercial hemp could boost agriculture, spawn new businesses, boost employment and livelihood, and potentially generate billions of dollars for the Kiwi economy, she says.

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