A New Zealand masterclass in medicinal cannabis has been formally endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) – marking a significant first for the country.
Set to take place later this month in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the medicinal cannabis training is available free of change to doctors and healthcare professionals. It is sponsored at arms-length by New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics.
Hosted by The Academy of Medical Cannabis (UK), the masterclass is designed by their Director of Education, Professor Mike Barnes, who will also lead the training. The British neurologist is recognised globally as a pre-eminent medicinal cannabis expert.
“This marks New Zealand’s first RNZCGP-endorsed professional training in medicinal cannabis for doctors on a national scale. It’s a major milestone for our burgeoning medicinal cannabis industry, as well as the healthcare sector,” says Paul Manning, Executive Director of Helius Therapeutics.
“The College does not give endorsements lightly. Natural, cannabis-based medicines are quite different to other prescription drugs. Professional training for doctors is essential in order to give patients quality care and advice. Having the Masterclass In Medical Cannabis now sanctioned by the College has added considerable mana, sparking interest from doctors and healthcare professionals alike,” he says.
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners is the professional body and postgraduate educational institute for GPs. The College strives to ensure a high standard of care in general practices across New Zealand by setting the standard for quality systems.
The Masterclass In Medical Cannabis has been approved for up to 4.5 CME credits for the General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes.
Listed on the RNZCGP’s website, learning areas of the masterclass include the endocannabinoid system, chemical constituents such as CBD and THC, side effects of medical cannabis, relative and absolute contraindications, different delivery systems and formats, the patient clinic flow and questionnaire tools, how to use and dose medicinal cannabis products, and the evolving regulatory landscape in New Zealand.
“Helius is sponsoring these events because we believe it’s absolutely critical that New Zealand’s doctors have access to professional training in advance of locally-produced medicinal cannabis products becoming widely available from next year. Our sponsorship has made the Masterclass free for doctors, in an effort to ensure as many GPs as possible have access to the training,” says Mr Manning.
“Thousands of suffering Kiwis will be relying on their GPs for professional advice about medicinal cannabis for a range of therapeutic possibilities, and if appropriate, access to products on prescription,” he says.
The masterclasses for New Zealand doctors and healthcare professionals will take place in Auckland on Wednesday 24 July; Wellington on Thursday 25 July; and Christchurch on Friday 26 July. Those interested in attending can book through the Helius website.