More States Considering Ban on Powdered Alcohol

Lawmakers in a growing number of states are considering banning powdered alcohol, a product that has not yet arrived in stores, according to the Associated Press.

Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont already have banned powdered alcohol, also known as “Palcohol.” Minnesota, Ohio, New York and Colorado also are considering bans, the article notes.

Critics say Palcohol could increase underage drinking. It is marketed as an ounce of rum or vodka in powdered form, which is mixed with water. Lipsmark, which owns Palcohol, says each serving is the equivalent of a shot of liquor.

“I think being proactive and jumping out in front of the problem is probably the right thing to do,” said Chris Johnson, Executive Director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado. “It really doesn’t have any place in our society, powered alcohol. We have enough problems with the liquid kind.”

Mark Phillips, who created Palcohol, says in a video on the product’s website that it would be sold only at liquor stores to people who are at least 21 years old. The company says the product will not be available in stores until this coming spring at the earliest. It must first receive labeling approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Earlier this year, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent federal approval of Palcohol. He said it could become “the Kool-Aid of teen binge drinking.” He asked the FDA to investigate the potential harmful effects of the product.

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    Darren Reed

    December 23, 2014 at 1:53 PM


    But in response to your points… First, the issues of accessibility (taking it wherever..) What these legislators are concerned about is YOUTH taking it wherever. You are correct. ADULTS can have liquid alcohol at sporting events, etc.. However YOUTH cannot, but something as easily concealable as powdered alcohol. And it is not sprinkling it on Wheaties that everyone is concerned about; it is adding it already to alcohol to magnify the intoxication effects.

    Secondly, how is banning a potentially lethal substance irresponsible? Other than hurting your company? There is very little need for this other that your increase in profit. However, lets debate some of YOUR reasons from your website that you directed us to.. Outdoor Activity Applications: Palcohol is a boon to outdoors enthusiasts such as campers, hikers and others who wanted to enjoy adult beverages responsibly without having the undue burden of carrying heavy bottles of liquid. Question, without the heavy liquid (that you are so gracious to spare us of) what are we to mix the powder with? Travel Applications: Similarly, adult travelers journeying to destinations far from home could conveniently and lawfully carry their favorite cocktail in powder format. Moderate quantities of flavored Palcohol products carried in resealable pouches are a fraction of the weight and bulk associated with traditional liquor packaging. Question, how much alcohol do you think people “travel” with that they need it in a powder form? Hospitality Applications: Because powdered alcohol is so light, airlines can reduce the weight on an airplane by serving powdered vs. liquid alcohol and save millions on fuel costs. An ice cream manufacturer wants to add Palcohol to their ice cream to make an “adult” version. A hotel in Hawaii is interested in powdered alcohol because it would save them so much on shipping from the mainland. That savings in shipping costs would be attractive to many resorts who rely on imported alcohol. Ha, ha, ha… Please see question from above without the heavy liquid (that you are so gracious to spare the airlines of) what are we to mix the powder with?

    Finally, about a year ago your self-promoted videos told people what “not to do with powdered alcohol” which was really a great way to passively tell the college kids how to abuse the substance without you officially promoting that type of use… I’m sorry Mark, but you keep talking about disservice over and over. Have you thought about the disservice you may do to our youth? Or is this “disservice more about your company’s bottom line?

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    Mark Phillips

    December 17, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    I’m Mark Phillips, the creator of Palcohol, powdered alcohol.

    With regards to Sen. Schumer’s request that the FDA to investigate powdered alcohol….they did and approved it.

    I’m disheartened that no state which has already introduced legislation to ban powdered alcohol asked me to testify before a committee to explain the product to the legislators. Since no one has first hand knowledge of powdered alcohol, you would think the responsible thing to do is find out about the product from the source. Instead, the legislators got caught up in the hyperbole and misinformation that is being thrown about by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.

    And we see it happening again in Colorado. Reading Rep. Windholz’s comments when she states, “It can be taken into schools, it can be taken into sports (events), Broncos games, whatever.”, it’s clear she doesn’t understand the product. Liquid alcohol can used to do those same things, in fact, even easier than powdered alcohol….but we don’t ban liquid alcohol as a result. And even worse are off-the-wall comments like Chris Johnson, executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado who fears powdered alcohol will make it easier for children to “sprinkle it on top of their Wheaties for breakfast”. What?! Mr. Johnson, what stops children from adding vodka to their milk? Really?! It’s those kind of irresponsible and ignorant comments that need to be stopped. We hope Colorado will be responsible and examine both sides of the issue before voting on it.

    Secondly, people say that banning powdered alcohol is the responsible thing to do. It’s just the opposite. Banning powdered alcohol is the most irresponsible action a legislature can take. By banning a product that’s in demand, it creates a black market which means the state loses all control over it. Then underage people can get a hold of it much easier. We know from experience that Prohibition doesn’t work. So the responsible action by a legislature should be to regulate it to keep it out of the hands of underage drinkers by having it sold in licensed liquor stores where a person must present a valid ID. In addition, legalizing powdered alcohol would realize tax revenue for the state which would be doing their fiduciary duty to the citizens.

    And lastly, people only seem to be focusing on the perceived and misinformed negative aspects of the product when there are so many positive applications as we state on our website, It is a disservice to the citizens and businesses of the state to prohibit this revolutionary new product to be used in a responsible and productive manner. I encourage citizens of Colorado, and other states where legislation is pending, to contact their legislators to demand a fair and balanced examination of the powdered alcohol.

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