A Yellowknife couple has been found guilty of illegally growing marijuana, but the jury hearing the case downgraded the more serious charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking to simple possession.

Kim and Craig MacNearney were both visibly upset after the verdicts.

Their lawyer had argued that Kim MacNearney needed the drug to treat chronic back pain and Yellowknife doctors had been unwilling to help her get a licence to possess medical marijuana.

The verdicts come almost five years after police found 20 plants and almost a kilogram of marijuana in the MacNearney's Northland Trailer Park home.

The couple is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.