Medicinal Cannabis Advisory Group

In December 2018, Cabinet agreed that the Minister of Health appoint a Medicinal Cannabis Oversight Panel to oversee the establishment and implementation of the Scheme. The Oversight Panel has been established as the Medicinal Cannabis Advisory Group (the Advisory Group). The Minister of Health has delegated authority for the establishment and operation of the Advisory Group to the Director-General of Health.

Members of the Advisory Group
Name Expertise
Dr Russell Wills
Medical expertise – Medical Director, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, Hawkes Bay District Health Board (HBDHB)
General and Community Paediatrician, HBDHB
Suzanna Barber Pharmacist – New Zealand registered Pharmacist, Systems Manager of the Pharmacy Service at Middlemore Hospital
Dr David Burrell Primary care physician – General Practitioner with Special Interest in Pain Management
Manu Caddie Medicinal Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Industry – Managing Director of Hikurangi Cannabis Company and President of New Zealand Medical Cannabis Council
Tara Creaven-Capasso Regulatory expertise – specialises in medicinal cannabis compliance
Dr Brian Ensor Palliative care specialist – Medical Director for Hospice Waikato in Hamilton
Professor Michelle Glass Medicinal Cannabis Researcher – Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Otago and Chair of the Medicinal Cannabis Research Collaborative
Judy Leader Nurse Practitioner at MidCentral Health, involved in establishing and leading the acute pain service at MidCentral Health
Kali Mercier Policy – Policy and Advocacy Manager at New Zealand Drug Foundation
Rebecca Reider Consumer representative
Dr Cynthia Sharpe Paediatric Neurologist at Starship Hospital
Simon Royal Chief Executive of the National Hauora Coalition


The Advisory Group met face-to-face on two occasions, 29 April 2019 and 4 September 2019. The Advisory Group has also met by two teleconference meetings on 14 May 2019 and 13 June 2019.

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