ELLSWORTH — A licensed Ellsworth medical marijuana caregiver says he’s happy his stolen plants have been returned by police, though he says he’ll only be able to save 15 percent of the crop.

Thomas Davis told the Bangor Daily News that once the 17 plants were taken last week, there was very limited time before they were damaged. Davis says that’s because the marijuana is extremely susceptible to mold when it’s outside the greenhouse.

Police say 32-year-old Aaron Pert of Trenton cut two openings in the greenhouse last Wednesday and took the plants, worth an estimated $12,800. They say he later told them where he’d put the plants.

But police didn’t give the plants back until Saturday, due to initial concerns about violating federal law, under which medical marijuana is illegal.