Dr Ganja is a bespectacled green cuddly toy whose job is to educate Thailand about the benefits of medical marijuana.

The squishy toy is the latest illustration of the nation’s embrace of medical cannabis, an industry poised to expand to more than US$660 million by 2024 from an estimate of US$300,000 last year. The biggest cheerleader of the business opportunity may be a surprise: Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Though Thailand last year became the first Southeast Asian nation to allow medical marijuana, possession of the plant has not been decriminalised and tough penalties remain, as they do for trafficking in it.

Source: SCMP