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Colorado is one of many states where marijuana is legal. Cannabis, hemp, and marijuana are used interchangeably. While they’re part of the same plant family, they have some differences in terms of THC levels, legality, and more.



Hemp vs. Marijuana

To compare hemp and marijuana, we need to discuss plant families. Hemp is part of the Cannabaceae family of flowering plants that includes 170 plant species grouped into about 11 categories. Cannabis is one of the categories and includes both hemp and marijuana, scientifically called “Cannabis sativa” (hemp) and “Cannabis indica” (marijuana). Marijuana is the general name for Cannabis Indica (the female flowers containing high levels of phytocannabinoids).



Cannabis plants have two major players THC and CBD. CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so users don’t feel intoxicated like when users consume THC. From a legal perspective, hemp has less than 0.3% of the medical and intoxicating cannabinoid, known as THC. There are no cannabinoids—CBD or THC—in hemp oil. Hemp oil contains healthy fats, which is why hemp oil is used in beauty products.



Why use CBD?

You’ve likely heard about products that include CBD. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is derived from the hemp plant. It’s a naturally occurring substance that’s used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Cannabidiol can only be included in “cosmetic” products and only if it contains less than 0.3% THC, according to WebMD. This amount allows CBD to be legal in states. Unlike its cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the major active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive and won’t make you feel intoxicated.



What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is the same product as recreational marijuana but is used for medical purposes. More than half of U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana in some form, and more are considering bills to do the same. While people use marijuana for a variety of reasons, the FDA has only approved it for the treatment of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, according to WebMD. To get medical marijuana, you need a written recommendation from a licensed doctor in states where that is legal. And you’ll need to have a medical condition that qualifies per your doctor and your state. Your state may also require you to get a medical marijuana ID card. Once you have that card, you can buy medical marijuana at a store called a dispensary.



Moving to Colorado to get a firsthand look at these products? If you need help finding Colorado mountain homes for sale, Code of the West is here for you every step of the way!

If you’re reading this, you’ve already dreamt of it—owning a cabin in the mountains: Fresh, piny air, mornings on the deck overlooking the valley, nights by the fire, quiet, seclusion, the simple life. And since the last few years have proven that we can work from just about anywhere, isn’t it time to make the move?


We’d say so! Buying a Colorado mountain home is a dream worth making a reality. And though there are more upsides than down, there are still a few things to get ready for before you make the move.



Why this is the best decision you’ll ever make


We aren’t going to lie to you, mountain life is by no means easy. However, the pros far outweigh the cons. But how do we describe in one paragraph what could take volumes to express? Well, we’ll give it our best shot.


Imagine waking up each day to the chatter of wildlife twittering about the fragrant pines. You’ve slept easy in the serenity of the quiet, starlit mountainside. Perhaps you strap on your hiking boots for a morning stroll or your skis for a ride into town, leaving your door unlocked because you’re not at all worried about your safety out here. The fresh, cool air is a gift to your lungs and your mood, as you take in the beauty that surrounds you. You take your time, there’s no hurry, and stop to say hi to your neighbors, the like-minded community folk that have your back in times of need. You return home to snuggle up by the fire. Working or reading, entertaining or enjoying the solitude, you know this is the place for you.



Things to prepare for now


And yet, there will be challenges to mountain life. They are by no means deal-breakers, but knowing now, and preparing yourself ahead of time, will help to maximize the success of your move.


1. Plan ahead!


This is first on the list because it is clearly the most important. You’ll want to plan ahead for everything. The big-box stores are going to be far away now, sometimes inaccessible when there’s a big snowstorm. You’ll need to plan when you’ll be able to make the trip and make detailed lists of everything you’ll need for meals, necessities, first aid, work supplies, etc.


2. Stock up


As we’ll mention several times in this list, snowstorms can strand you for several days sometimes. You’ll want to make sure you are stocked up on food, non-perishables, toilet paper, fresh water, toiletries, etc. Make a checklist and ensure that you always have what you’ll need to get by comfortably for a couple of weeks (chances are you won’t ever need that much, but better to be safe!).


3. Expect crazy weather!


The mountains are amazing. Majestic and bold, they have survived some seriously extreme weather, as will you! Just know that you will experience pouring rain, super cold temperatures, snowstorms, fog, high winds, and more. However, if you’re prepared, it becomes an awe-inspiring experience. Know that it is coming and talk to your neighbors to find out what implements to have on hand.


4. Speaking of snowstorms…


Have we mentioned snowstorms yet? Well, there will be some. Make sure you are prepared by stocking up on food and necessities. Having a generator in case of a power outage and plenty of dry wood chopped for a fire. Plan on spending time shoveling and scraping your car free of ice. Also, purchase-

  • Rock salt
  • Snow tires/chains
  • A 4WD vehicle
  • Snow shovel, snow scraper, and snow broom



5. Hydration


Mountain air is dry. You’ll wake up with a serious case of dry-mouth and will soon notice your lips and skin splitting if you don’t keep hydrated! Always keep a water bottle with you and make sure you’re drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, more if you are very active. Also, stock up on lotion or oil for your skin and lip balm to soothe and protect cracked lips. And if you’re still feeling parched in the morning, try a humidifier at night.


6. Embrace your local community


Make an effort to show up and contribute to all community events and gatherings. This is how you’re going to get to know your neighbors and foster a relationship of trust. Try to always lead with kindness with your new community and avoid conflict wherever possible. Remember, this is a small, tight-knit group. Slights will not be forgotten quickly. And these are the people that you will rely on (and who will rely on you) in times of need. Embrace them!


7. Services are further away


In the city, we can expect to see a plumber or electrician within the day or if we need medical care, we can see a doctor at once. Now that you are further away from civilization, services will be more difficult to access. So prepare yourself. Have backup plans for electricity (generator, firewood, etc.), plumbing (an outhouse, perhaps), medical care (a fully stocked first aid kit and knowledge of the nearest emergency services), etc. Additionally, adjust your expectations now. You’ve been wanting a slower way of life, understand that in that slowing, everything is affected.


8. Pets and…wild animals


This is a tough one. You’re moving to a place where wild animals are abundant and they have a different pecking order than we do in the city. Your tiny pooch may have the world in his paw, a sweater on his back, and a fluffy bed to sleep in when in suburbia, but here, the little guy looks more like food to its new neighbors. Just be aware that small pets will need to be kept on a short leash. Keep them inside when unsupervised and close by when out.


9. Forest fires


Wildfires are something to be prepared for; the chances of your property being affected are not large, but it is always best to have a plan when you’re in the wilderness. Make sure that you are properly insured in case of a fire, and more importantly, make sure you have an evacuation plan. That plan should also have backup options and contingencies. Keep your local family, and those outside of the area, abreast of your plans. And remember, take care of your neighbors as well. Collaborate and watch out for each other.


10. Learn about your new town!


This seems like a no-brainer, yet many move without ever learning the ins and outs of their new town. Plan ahead (have we mentioned this before?), and find out where services are, what events are popular, the closest supermarket, drugstore or gas station, what the town is known for, the best hiking spots, etc. Learning about your new home shows respect for your community and will have benefits when you end up needing gasoline for your generator in the middle of the night.



Now buy that Colorado mountain home for sale!


We hope you are still absolutely ecstatic to make your move and you’ve learned a little about how to make that move successful. We adore our mountain communities and the pace of living in the stunning and restorative great outdoors! It will be a great change, but probably just the change you’ve been craving.


Perhaps you’re curious about what’s involved in buying a home or want to dive in and go for it. Maybe you’re tired of paying rent and building your landlord’s wealth and you’re ready to invest in your own future. Buying a home is exciting, but the process can seem overwhelming. Don’t worry! In this post, we’ll give you some things to consider as you work through the home buying process.


Check Your Credit Report

First, get a free copy of your credit report. You can get a free credit report every year from It pulls info from the three major credit bureaus and provides your credit score (the higher the score, the lower your mortgage loan rate). Check your credit report annually—even if you’re not buying a home soon. That way you can monitor items on your report and dispute any errors before they hurt your credit score.


Will This be Your First Home?

If it is, research first-time home buying programs. Some cities and states offer first-time home buyer programs that can provide incentives like down-payment assistance, closing cost support and low interest rate mortgages. Some programs provide tax incentives as well.


Determine How Much You Can Afford

Use an online mortgage calculator like our home mortgage calculator to determine what you can afford. In general, lenders recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income. This amount assumes that home buyers have a 20% down payment and a moderate amount of other debt. Keep in mind that just because you can afford a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to borrow that amount. You’ll also want to look at mortgage payment amounts depending on your home loan.


You’ll also want to research different types of mortgages and rates to find the one that fits. You can compare mortgages from different lenders to see how rates, fees, etc. match up.


Find a Realtor

Realtors are valuable resources—they’re full of knowledge, know the area well, have superior negotiating skills and can answer all of your questions. Plus they don’t cost you anything! Your Realtor is compensated by the commission from the seller of the house.


Get Prequalified

Getting prequalified allows you to know how much a lender will give you for a home. This info allows you to look for homes in your budget. If you can, obtain a pre-approval prior to looking for houses. Pre-approval takes prequalification one step further because the lender verifies your financial documents in advance (W2s, paystubs, bank statements, tax documents, debt to income ratio, etc.). Depending on the market, a prequalification or pre-approval might be good to do before you browse potential homes.


Find a Home and Make an Offer

Browse homes online to locate what types of homes and areas you like. Start looking at homes with your agent and find one that you like. Work with your real estate agent to negotiate an offer. Once you and the seller have reached an agreement on price, the house goes under contract. This is the period when you and your agent will complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process (home inspection, loan approval, appraisal).


Time for a Home Inspection

Part of the home-buying process is a home inspection. You’ll arrange a home inspection to look for potential home issues so you’re not surprised after purchasing. Don’t worry, your real estate agent has home inspector recommendations. Most home purchases are contingent on the home inspection so that buyers can renegotiate or back out if there are any major issues. As the buyer, you can ask the seller to fix items that the home inspector found. Your Realtor can help guide you through the home inspection process, so don’t stress!


Get Home Insurance and Set Up Utilities

Your lender requires homeowner’s insurance. Contact your current insurance agent for an estimate and then shop around at other insurance companies for quotes. That way you can ensure you have the best insurance price. Once you have a closing date, contact utility companies to set up your services (gas, electric, water, trash, Internet, etc.). You don’t want to get the keys to your home and have to move in the dark!


Close on Your Home

Your agent arranges a title company to prepare the closing paperwork. You’ll sign the closing paperwork including your loan documents. Once the closing is complete and the home loan is funded, it’s time to get the keys to your home. The final step–it’s time to move!


Please reach out if you have additional questions or want to start looking for a home in southern Colorado! There’s plenty of amazing properties to choose from. Your dream home is out there waiting for you, and we can help you get it.

The greatest time of the year is upon us here in the beautiful Spanish Peaks Country in Southern Colorado! From the history to the art, from the outdoors to the attractions, the Wahatoya (Huajatolla) mountain area has never failed to be on a bucket list of  “Places to See this Summer!” Named by the Native Americans, the Wahatoya (Huajatolla) mountains “breasts of the earth” or by the later Spanish travelers, Dos Hermanos (Two Brothers or more commonly known as Twin Peaks), these peaks will always hold a place in all of our hearts for one of the most breathtaking places in Colorado!


If you are in search of a place to experience the great outdoors and history, La Veta, Cuchara, and the Highway of Legends should be on your route! These summertime activities attract people from all over the world!  The Fransisco Fort Museum is a great place to learn about the rich history of  La Veta and the surrounding area! Enjoy the wonderful food at Corners Diner, Mission Deli Mesa, Alys’, or The Bugling Bull. But make sure to make time to relish in the abundant, locally owned and operated shops such as Crafted in Colorado, La Veta Mercantile, Desert Expressions, or Spanish Peaks Outfitters.  To end your trip, take a slow ride up the remarkable Highway of Legends in hopes to encounter mountain wildlife such as bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, bears, and mountain lions. Once you reach Cuchara, stop for a stroll down the quaint village street. Check out all of the local gems as you meander through the shops and work your way down for a fun round of miniature golf at The Bear’s Den. Don’t leave town without first having dinner at the famous Dog Bar and Grill, or The Timbers restaurant.


The Fourth of July is one of the greatest times to visit the area. The Independence Day Parades of La Veta and Cuchara are great for families to experience just a handful of programs and businesses that the area supports. From the parades, head over to La Veta Park to enjoy Art in the Park: live music, shopping, and food. Make sure you bring your boogie boots and get ready to experience live hit music and local music at the Spanish Peaks Music Fest and end the weekend playing in the mud at La Veta’s Annual Mud Fest. For times and locations of these events and more visit the The La Veta Cuchara Chamber of Commerce.


While you’re out enjoying our beautiful valley don’t forget to stop by any of our three locations:

Walsenburg 502 Main St (719) 738-1818

La Veta at 215 South Main St (719) 742-3626


We would love to show you just how easy it can be to own a piece of this inspiring valley for yourself.

Springtime for Colorado farmers and ranchers means work! Whether it’s getting fields ready for planting, ditches ready for water, or the all-important calving, lambing, kidding, or whatever season you find yourself knee-deep in. This is the season when sleep becomes less and worry becomes more.


With a decent snowpack and the early spring rains here in rural Colorado, we are hopeful for a successful harvest season. Coming off of such a stressful year full of drought and fires most of the region was hit hard when the hay market was so high and finding good quality feed for our animals was a struggle. Hopefully this year, with the help of the weather, as ranchers, farmers, and gardeners, we will make enough products to sustain our lifestyle. The concept of high-performance agriculture is key to understanding the importance of crop yields. How much you can produce within a given amount of land is essentially how efficient you are as a farmer. In today’s economy, being able to do things efficiently is as important as ever. You want to ensure that you are maximizing your space and the land you have worked to cultivate. Crop yields not only determine your efficiency but your bottom line as well (A Farmers Guide). Whether you’re planting several acres or getting ready to plan your backyard garden consider some of these helpful tips for high-elevation farming and gardening:


Plant Early, Plant Effectively.

Practice Seasonal Soil Rotation.

Know The Yield Potential.

Ensure Proper Water Drainage.

Test Your Soil.

Always Scout Your Fields.


Remember that the higher the elevation, the harsher the sunlight, and the faster your plant’s soil will dry out. Putting seedlings in a vented cold frame is an ideal way to help them adjust. You can give seeds that go directly in the garden a jump start by planting them under mulch. It’s always a challenge playing a game with the weather; however, with these few tips, your fields or gardens will be bountiful when summer rolls around the corner (High Altitude Gardening).


9 Ways To Improve Corn Crop Yields: A Farmer’s Guide

High Altitude Gardening | Planet Natural        

Southern Colorado has plenty to see and do! If you’re lucky enough to live in Colorado, check out some of the following nearby sights. If you don’t live in Southern Colorado, then hit the road or contact Code of the West to get a place of your own!


Get Outside


Lanthrop State Park: Colorado’s first State park, Lathrop State Park, is located in Huerfano County. The park provides 1,594 acres of year-round water and land-based recreation with Martin Lake, Horseshoe Lake and the 9-hole Walsenburg Golf Course. You’ll have plenty of boating, camping, fishing and golfing opportunities located in one place!


Blue and Bear Lakes: Bear Lake Campground, located in the San Isabel National Forest, offers views of the nearby Culebra Mountain Range with aspen and spruce forests. Bear Lake is 1/8 mile from the campground, and then Blue Lake is one mile away. Both of these small lakes are stocked several times during the summer for fishing.


Sand Dunes: Alamosa County is lucky to have the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the largest dunes in North America! The Great Sand Dunes National Park is 30 square miles of massive dunes, diverse grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes and tundra.


Off-Road Trails: If you’re interested in off-road trails, you’ll find challenging ones in Southwestern Colorado. These are only a few, but a quick search will point you to all the trails Colorado has to offer.

– Imogene Pass: The entrance to this pass is outside of Ouray and off of Highway 550, which is known as the Million Dollar Highway.

– Duckett Creek Trail Head: This off-road trail is near Westcliffe in the San Isabel National Forest.

– Rainbow Falls Trail: Located in Pike National Forest near Sedalia, this trail is 20 miles long and good for 4X4s and ATVs.



Non-profits and Organizations


Walsenburg, Westcliffe, Alamosa and La Veta have long lists of nonprofits and organizations! Check out Spanish Peaks Business Alliance or Wet Mountain Valley Community

Foundation’s list if you’re interested in supporting one of these amazing nonprofits. You can also look at nonprofits in Walsenburg, La Veta and Alamosa.



Art Galleries


You’ll find many Southern Colorado art galleries. Here are a few of them:


-SPACe promotes and encourages art-centered educational events in the Spanish Peaks region of southern Colorado. They organize art shows and workshops as well.

-Shalawalla Gallery, Gift Shop and School is located in La Veta. You can visit Beth and Jonathan Evans, internationally-known batik artists who have exhibited their work all over the world.

-The La Veta Gallery on Main showcases ceramic works and also represents many local and regional artists working in paint, jewelry, fiber, photography, scratchboard, wood and paper.

-The Painted Horse Gallery and Studio showcases a unique mix of hand-made art, jewelry, robots, knives, teas, leather vests, gifts, wine and canvas classes as well as private events.



Restaurants and Bars


– Alys’ Restaurant calls La Veta home, and is worth a stop for a phenomenal dining experience courtesy of Chef Alys Romer.

– Dog Bar & Grill has been called the “Heart and Soul of Cuchara” since its opening in 1980. The restaurant has an award-winning patio and features live music in addition to delicious food.

-Chappys is a downtown Westcliffe bar and restaurant that provides flame-cooked steaks, burgers, chicken, dogs and bratwursts.

-The Mission Deli Mesa is a family-owned restaurant on the edge of town near the golf course in La Veta. It has some of the best mexican food in town!



Movie Theaters


Walsenburg’s Fox Theater is a historic cinema and event space that opened in 1917. In addition to movies, the Fox Theater also hosts a variety of events. Check their website to ensure the theater is open.


Historic Jones Theater is home to Westcliffe Center for the Performing Arts (WCPA). It shows movies, plays and holds productions and classes for children and teens.


Keep in mind that there’s plenty more to do and see in Southern Colorado. It’s time to get outside and start exploring all that Colorado has to offer!