Legislation to ban powdered alcohol has cleared the Senate State Affairs Committee and is headed for a final vote in the full Senate. HB 331a was amended in the House to ensure that it doesn’t ban powdered alcohol that’s used for industrial or other non-beverage purposes, and to remove a minimum three-month jail term for violations, while leaving in a maximum one-year term.
Tyler Mallard, lobbyist for the Idaho Beer & Wine Distributors Association, said powdered alcohol is “a product that makes alcohol as discreet as a packet of sugar. … Tear it open add some water, mix and you’ve got hard liquor. It’s not hard to fathom ways that kids are going to get into trouble with a product like this.” He said the association “feels the risk is not worth the reward on this product.”
Jeff Anderson, director of Idaho’s state Liquor Division, said 29 other states already have banned the product; a version of it under the brand name “Palcohol” has been recently developed and was about to be marketed before the bans started being imposed. He said the division proposed the ban out of concern that the product could be misused or easily concealed in places where alcohol isn’t permitted.