What is palcohol?
Powdered alcohol, or “Palcohol” as it has been branded (patent pending), was developed by an Arizona-based company named Lipsmark. The creator, Mark Phillips, says he was looking for something more portable than bottled alcohol to take hiking, kayaking and canoeing as he enjoys a celebratory drink when he reaches his destination. Carrying packets of powder would be exceptionally convenient for traveling light.
Palcohol’s beverage products include vodka, rum and four different cocktail versions. Each product would be sold in a four-inch by six-inch re-sealable pouch and would weigh about one ounce.
Are there risks?
There is some concern that powdered alcohol may easily be misused or abused and that it may be attractive to children. Rep. Joe Atkins from Minnesota stated, “Virtually every possible use for powdered alcohol is nefarious, not to mention potentially dangerous.” The different flavorings make it appealing to children and students who could easily sneak packets into school. This powder could also be inhaled or snorted, bringing a whole new world of problems into play. Phillips argues that it would be impractical to snort or inhale Palcohol due to the sheer volume of powder you would need to equal the alcohol content of a single shot. People may sprinkle it on food. Lipsmark mentions that a manufacturer is considering to use it to create an “adult” version of ice cream. Lipsmark is also looking at creating a non-ingestible version of Palcohol to use as an antiseptic, fuel or additive to products such as windshield washer fluid.
Is it legal?
Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, Vermont and South Carolina have already banned powdered alcohol. Ohio and Minnesota, New York and Colorado are considering it as well. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau initially approved labeling Palcohol in April of 2014 but reversed the decision only 13 days later. Lipsmark has resubmitted the application.
The company’s Palcohol products were approved to be sold in the United States in Spring of 2015.