Powdered alcohol approved for sale; states consider bans

A Tempe-based company is hoping it's powdered alcohol will be available to buy this summer.

The powder is meant to be mixed into a drink by just adding water.

A federal agency just approved the product called "Palcohol," but some lawmakers including some here in Arizona are trying to ban the substance before it even hits store shelves.

The founder of Palcohol said he wanted a way to have a drink after hiking.

The company announced on it's website Tuesday that it received Federal approval and is now legal to be sold in the United States.

But there is fear over how the product could be used. Some states including; Colorado, New York, and Arizona are proposing bans for Palcohol.

"It's simply one shot of alcohol in powered form," says a narrator on a video for the product.

A YouTube video on Palcohol's website explains how powdered alcohol works.

Palcohol comes in a pouch, just add water and it is equivalent to a drink. The four approved products include powdered versions of a cosmopolitan, a margarita, vodka, and rum. 

People FOX 10 spoke to have mixed opinions about the idea.

"Powdered alcohol is a terrible idea," said Tim Bourcet.

"It sounds strange, but it also sounds fun, I think it would be good for certain markets," said Lisa Denny.

"Powdered alcohol is probably going to lead to a lot of bad things, and stupid young people doing really stupid things," said Bourcet.

"We don't know what to do with it at this point," said Lee Hill with the Arizona Department of Liquor.

The Arizona Department of Liquor says right now state liquor laws do not address powdered alcohol.

"It's going to take a lot of discussions to understand how it is going to be handled, and how it is going to be regulated. How do you issue a liquor license for it? Way more questions than answers at this point," said Hill.

But a bill in the Arizona House right now would make it illegal to use or sell alcohol in powdered form in Arizona. Some are concerned it could be sorted or abused by minors, that it would be easy to spike drinks, or sneak into events.

"Snorting it is very painful, it burns," said a narrator from the YouTube video on Palcohol.

But Palcohol founder Mark Phillips say it would take an hour to snort the equivalent of a shot. He says it would be regulated just like other alcohol.

"All the hysterical dangers of Palcohol are unfounded," said Mark Phillips.

According to the company's website they are working on getting the production facility going. They hope to have the product for sale this summer, prices have not been set.

For more information visit: http://www.palcohol.com/home.html

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