The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Palcohol this week, and states and legislators are taking action to ensure the product won’t have buyers.
Palcohol is powdered alcohol. One packet mixed with six ounces of water equals the same alcohol content as one standard mixed drink. The company that makes the product claims that packets, which measure four inches by six inches, are hard to conceal. Oh, please.
“I am in total disbelief that our federal government has approved such an obviously dangerous product, and so, Congress must take matters into its own hands and make powdered alcohol illegal,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) in a statement. “Underage alcohol abuse is a growing epidemic with tragic consequences, and powdered alcohol could exacerbate this. We simply can’t sit back and wait for powdered alcohol to hit store shelves across the country, potentially causing more alcohol-related hospitalizations, and God forbid, deaths. This legislation will make illegal the production and sale of this Kool-Aid for underage drinking.”
Schumer’s legislation will include language that explicitly bans the production, sale, distribution, or possession of powdered alcohol as a provision of the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Reauthorization (STOP) Act.
Some states, though, have already banned Palcohol, such as Louisiana, South Carolina, and Vermont. Other states, such as Colorado, New York, and Rhode Island, are in the process of banning it. Palcohol can’t be sold in Massachusetts because that state defines an alcoholic beverage as a liquid.
Sure, people sneak legal and illegal things into events all the time but this one could really have an adverse affect on alcohol sales. What would you, as a venue professional, do to stay one step ahead of this development?