Powdered Alcohol Commentary in JAMA

July 9, 2015

A recent commentary on powdered alcohol in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) highlights the rising challenges and need for regulation of powdered alcohol.

In March 2015, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved powdered alcohol for sale. The powdered substance is anticipated to hit the shelves this year. As previous AJ posts outline, products like Palcohol are a recipe for alcohol-related harm and pose multiple public health concerns, especially for youth. 

As of June 2015, 22 states have passed powdered alcohol bans : Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Maryland and Minnesota have passed temporary one-year bans. Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, and New Mexico included powdered alcohol in their statutory definitions of alcohol so that the product can be regulated under their existing alcohol statutes.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) continues his call for federal legislation to stop powdered alcohol products including Palcohol. Lipsmark, the producer of Palcohol, immediately hired DC lobbyists who filed registration forms after Schumer announced his powdered alcohol amendment.

A recent poll revealed that 90% of adults are concerned about powdered alcohol and underage youth.

See and sign the Alcohol Justice call for legislation to ban powdered alcohol in California. Take action on the federal level here.

TTB Approves Labels for Powdered Alcohol; States Take Action

March 12, 2015

March 25: Utah enacts a ban on powdered alcohol - the 5th state to do so since early 2014.

March 23: Eleven more states introduced bills to ban powdered alcohol since our original post. The Massachusetts ABC issued a regulatory decision declaring the product illegal.

The U.S. Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau approved labels for the powdered alcohol product Palcohol again this week - almost a year after initially issuing, and then revoking, approval in April 2014. Since then, four states (Louisiana, South Carolina, Vermont, & Virginia) have passed legislation to ban powdered and crystalline alcohol products, and the Pennsylvania liquor control board voted unanimously to keep powdered alcohol off of its product lists. Alaska placed a ban on powdered alcohol in 1980. Both Delaware and Michigan have added powdered alcohol to their definitions of alcoholic beverage products, but have not yet banned it (Michigan has proposed legislation to do so). At least fourteen more states are currently considering bills to enact powdered alcohol bans.

Of the four states to enact powdered alcohol bans since 2014, Louisiana prohibits containers with powdered alcohol from being sold in or shipped into the state. Virginia bans containers of powdered alcohol being sold in or shipped out of the state, as well as individual possession, purchase, and sale of powdered alcohol. Vermont bans both possession and sale of powdered alcohol, and specifies penalties and amounts for fines. South Carolina made it unlawful for individuals to use, offer for use, purchase, offer to purchase, sell, offer to sell, or possess powdered alcohol; banned licensed on- and off-premise outlets from using powdered alcohol; and specified fine amounts for repeated violations.

Bill sponsors and supporters cite a long list of health and safety concerns including: easy youth access to the packets; similar size and shape of packets to nonalcoholic children's drink packets; combining multiple packets to make a single drink; mixing powder alcohol with liquid alcohol; mixing powdered alcohol with energy drinks; concealment by underage drinkers attending events/locations where alcohol is prohibited; and ingestion of the product by snorting.

Visit our Dangerous Products legislative activity page to find current bills on powdered alcohol, as well as caffeinated alcohol products and increased allowable amounts of alcohol by volume.

Read our letter asking California legislators to ban powdered and crystalline alcohol products.

TAKE ACTION: Send a letter to California legislators telling them to ban powdered alcohol.

State Bans on Powdered Alcohol Advance

February 18, 2015

***Edited on March 12, 2015. Michigan defined powdered alcohol in House Bill 5798, which passed on October 22, 2014. HB 5798 originally contained ban language that was removed before the bill was approved. Michigan Senate Bill 1072 would prohibit the sale or use of powdered alcohol, and is still under consideration.

Since 2014, legislators in several states have proposed or passed bills to prohibit sale and/or possession of powdered and/or crystalline alcohol. They cite health and safety concerns, including the potential for accidental overdose, easier access for youth, and the danger of ingesting the product by snorting.

Thirteen states are currently considering legislative proposals to ban or restrict powdered alcohol: Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois,  Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, New York, South Carolina, Utah, Iowa and Wyoming. Virginia passed its bill banning the sale or possession of powdered alcohol in February. Pennsylvania has taken administrative action to ban powdered alcohol; the Department of Liquor Control has said it will not allow powdered alcohol products into the state.

In 2014, 3 states passed bills to prohibit powdered alcohol: Louisiana, South Carolina, and Vermont. Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio failed to pass proposed legislation in 2014.

Alaska placed a ban on powdered alcohol in 1980, and California has allowed sale of alcohol in powdered form since the 1970's.

For a list of powdered alcohol bills, their sponsors, and summaries by state and by year, visit our legislation page.

TAKE ACTION: Send a letter to federal administrators telling them to ban powdered alcohol.

Several states move forward with powdered alcohol regulation

July 31, 2014


In response to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's mistaken approval and subsequent retraction of the powdered alcohol product Palcohol earlier this year, lawmakers in several states moved to ban powdered alcohol products. Advocates for bans cite health and safety concerns, including: the potential for accidental overdose, easier access for youth, and the danger of ingesting the product by snorting. The following state legislation to ban powdered alcohol sales was introduced in 2014:

  • South Carolina HB 4399, Louisiana SB 204, and Vermont SB 299 passed
  • New York Senate Bills 7195 and 7217, and Ohio SB 594 are pending
  • Minnesota's HF 3346 died in committee

  • States with existing laws include Alaska, which bans powdered alcohol, and California, which has allowed sale of powdered alcohol since the 1970's.