Nova Scotia's Community Services Department is pondering its next step after being ordered by an appeals board to help a needy couple improve their marijuana garden.

The couple, whose names have not been made public, have permission to grow up to 25 marijuana plants for medical purposes, according to a Canadian Broadcast Corp. report. The woman was injured in a car accident, and her husband suffers from glaucoma.

But the couple, who get income assistance from the government, can only afford to grow six plants — and sometimes run low on supplies.

The Income Assistance Appeals Board ruled recently that the provincial Community Services Department should pay a one-time cost of $2,500 to set up the full marijuana growing operation and $400 a year for supplies.

The department's spokeswoman, Kristen Tynes, said Monday the department had referred the decision to its legal counsel to determine the next step to take.