OLYMPIA – Some states want to ban a product that turns water into rum. Or vodka.
In Washington, lawmakers might regulate this powder with punch just like booze.
It goes by the brand name Palcohol, and comes from a process that creates a solid substance which can later be dissolved in water. This portable form of booze has raised concerns about public and underage drinking in other states.
It was banned in Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont even before it could get approval from federal regulators. Colorado and Illinois are looking to follow suit.
Chemically identical to liquid alcohol, it could generate some new revenue for the state if taxed at the same rate as other spirits, said Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn. She wants to make it legal to sell the product to consumers ages 21 and older.
Roach, the bill’s prime sponsor, said Monday she was not aware other states have banned powdered alcohol because of safety concerns.
Palcohol’s website once touted the ease with which consumers could smuggle the product into movie theaters and sporting events. The company’s motto was “Take your Pal wherever you go!”
The company now markets the product as a portable antiseptic.
Last April, the federal government issued, then quickly revoked, approvals for seven Palcohol formulas, stating the approvals were granted in error. Lipsmark LLC, the makers of Palcohol, have reapplied for approval. It’s currently not sold in the United States.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has criticized powdered alcohol, urging the Food and Drug Administration to ban it nationwide.
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