After having their product approved last summer and then having that approval recalled in a governmental oops moment, Palcohol is celebrating victory as powdered alcohol is now legal for sale in the US.
The AP reports that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has given the controversial substance, which amounts to freeze-dried flavored alcohol in a pouch, the greenlight. Of course, whether or not it makes it to shelves in all states in left to be seen. From CBS News:
On Wednesday, bureau spokesman Tom Hogue told The Associated Press the issues were resolved and that four varieties of Palcohol were approved. But Hogue noted that states can also regulate alcohol sales in their borders.
The latest approval is a step forward for a small company whose product plans have already sparked controversy.
Several states have already moved to ban powdered alcohol, including lawmakers in Colorado who last month advanced legislation to temporarily halt its sale. Concerns have included abuse by minors and whether Palcohol's light weight would make it easy to sneak alcohol into public events.
Palcohol, the company looking to make powdered alcohol the next big thing, say they hope to have it available by this summer.
"Many states are moving to ban powdered alcohol. Why? Because the liquor industry is against it and they want to squash competition and protect their market share. The liquor companies have lots of money to lobby for what they want and we are no match for their deep pockets. But should big money be allowed to make the laws?" says Palcohol on its site.
"If you want to try Palcohol, you need to contact your legislators to tell them you don't need the government to be our nanny. We're big boys and girls and can decide for ourselves if we want to use alcohol....because that's all Palcohol is....liquid alcohol in powder form."
Of course, opponents of powdered alcohol cite examples of how it could be abused – snorted, and overconsumed, mostly.
To this, Palcohol says that's just impractical.
"Listen, people can snort black pepper....so do we ban it? No, just because a few goofballs use a product irresponsibly doesn't mean you ban it. But even the goofballs won't snort Palcohol due to the pain the alcohol would cause. It really burns. Imagine sniffing liquid vodka. Second, it's impractical. It takes approximately 60 minutes to snort the equivalent of one shot of vodka. Why would anyone do that when they can do a shot of liquid vodka in two seconds?"
Adding six ounces of water to one packet of the powdered alcohol will make what equates to one standard mixed drink. It currently comes in vodka, rum, cosmo, margarita, and lemon drop.
Last April, the product was legalized – for a second. A couple of days after, the TTB said it was done in error. It's been under review since.
"Potential for abuse isn't grounds for us to deny a label," said TTB spokesman Tom Hogue.