Last Wednesday, as Pennsylvania drinkers celebrated relaxed laws on wine and beer, most were unaware that they were also being theoretically denied a yet-to-be marketed alcohol product that they probably didn’t want in the first place.
On June 8, Pennsylvania became the 32nd state to prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol. The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved powdered alcohol for sale last year, but the dubious product has yet to reach store shelves. The California Assembly followed Pennsylvania’s lead on Friday, June 10, by unanimously passing legislation to ban possession or use of the substance. The bill has yet to pass the rest of the legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
The powdered alcohol product at the center of the debate is Palcohol, the brainchild of Mark Phillips, who, according to his website, invented the stuff to avoid lugging along extra liquid when “hiking, biking, camping and kayaking.” Phillips, who plans to sell powdered vodka and rum, along with pre-mixed drinks like Cosmopolitans and Lemon Drops, valiantly opposed the California Assembly, but to no avail.