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Earth’s Healing’s founding members, pictured from left: William Elliott, Eddie Saavedra, Vicky Puchi-Saavedra and Magie Saavedra.

Edward Celaya

Ask Vicky Puchi-Saavedra, the owner/operator of Tucson’s only woman-owned marijuana dispensaries — Earth’s Healing North and South — about how she got into marijuana, and she’ll tell you a story about family.

Ask Puchi-Saavedra about her family and she won’t stop telling you that’s what makes her dispensaries special: family.

“We started like a small family business,” she says, referring to old pictures of her original Earth’s Healing dispensary, located at 2075 E. Benson Highway. “Now, we’re a really big family business.”

A medical introduction to marijuana

Puchi-Saavedra, a Nogales, Arizona native, came to Tucson originally to attend the University of Arizona. After graduating, she became a real estate agent in the area, where she found success. Then, about 15 years ago, she was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis.

After going through a few procedures and surgeries to help alleviate the pain, she says she considered trying alternative forms of medicine, mostly to avoid taking opioids and other pain relievers. That included medical marijuana.

Unlike some, Puchi-Saavedra had no

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