State Senator: Ban Powdered Alcohol in Pennsylvania

Shirley Kitchen has introduced a bill that would ban sale or possession of powdered alcohol in the state.

palcohol copyLast month, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board decided it would not sell powdered alcohol products in its Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores. “While we have not been approached to sell any powdered alcohol products, we wanted to clearly state our position proactively on this particular form of alcohol,” PLCB Chairman Skip Brion said in a release.

Now a state senator wants to ban powdered alcohol in the state entirely. Earlier this week, State Sen. Shirley Kitchen introduced legislation that would do such a thing.

“‘Palcohol’ is marketed as a lighter and easier-to-transport alternative than liquid alcohol. However, that also makes it much easier to conceal, consume, and be acquired by minors,” Kitchen said in a release. “This is a tasteless, odorless product and it is virtually unrecognizable from liquid alcohol. That it can be sprinkled over food or hidden in just about any container makes it too easy for our children to abuse.”

Senate Bill No. 588 would make it illegal for any person in Pennsylvania to even possess powdered alcohol, even if it was legally purchased in another state.

Powdered alcohol is then mixed with water to create a drink, like it’s a packet of Kool-Aid. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Palcohol last year. Outrage from lawmakers and others followed almost immediately, and approval was delayed.

But the product was OKed again this week. It’s supposed to be available in stores this summer.

Several states have already voted for a ban — Utah and Virginia, for example — and so it’s likely Kitchen’s bill will also pass quickly. (Massachusetts regulators said powdered alcohol was illegal even without a vote.)

“It can easily be taken into games, it can be taken into restaurants, which cuts into their bottom line because people could start carrying their own powdered alcohol instead of ordering drinks,” Tennessee State Sen. Bill Ketron said after passage of a ban there.

Kitchen’s bill has been referred to the State Senate Committee on Law and Justice for consideration.