Powdered alcohol raising state concerns

Posted By: Camila Orti

Just add water and stir.

That’s the concept behind a new liquor product that’s gotten a lot of media attention lately, and even more recently, attention from state officials.

The product is called Palcohol, a powdered alcohol you stir into liquid. It’s sold in single-drink packets, but we won’t see it in the U.S. any time soon. According to Executive Director of the NE Liquor Control Commission, Hobert Rupe, we might not see it in Nebraska, either.

“Earlier in April it was approved by the Trade Tax Bureau and then they did a very rare thing and rescinded that label approval, which kind of threw it on all our states’ radars,” Rupe said.

Rupe says it brought up some questions.

“I’m really concerned about youth getting access to it and taking it to places where they shouldn’t be able to, I mean, this makes a little airline sample bottle look bulky,” Rupe said.

He sent a letter to state wholesalers today, asking them to hold off on importing it until further research has been done. But even if the product is federally approved, some local liquor stores are saying they wouldn’t sell it.

“My initial reaction was, it’s a bad idea,” Co-owner of Meier’s Cork and Bottle, Kevin Meier, said.

Meier says a powdered booze could be attractive to underage drinkers, and wouldn’t fit into his business model.

“To me it doesn’t promote responsible drinking and enjoyment, it promotes just the alcohol and that’s not something we want to be a part of,” Meier said.

Health experts say powdered alcohol could make overdosing easier to do more quickly, plus improper uses, like snorting, could cause other health problems.

The Palcohol website denies many of these health concerns. It says it would take “approximately 60 minutes to snort an equivalent of one shot of vodka.”

The product comes from an Arizona-based company called Lipsmark.