Maryland Bans Powdered Alcohol Palcohol

Despite federal approval for a powdered form of alcohol, Maryland is instituting a voluntary ban against the product known as Palcohol.

The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau recently approved several labels of Palcohol, which can be dissolved in a beverage and then consumed. Several states have pass legislation banning the sale of powdered alcohol, but Comptroller Peter Franchot said the health and safety of Marylanders was the reason for the ban in the state.

“This product, by its very nature, presents a significant and untenable risk to the health and safety of Maryland consumers,” said Franchot, who serves as Marylanders chief regulator of alcohol. “The likelihood of widespread Palcohol abuse, particularly among underage consumers, carries a real possibility of tragic consequences, which is why I’m so pleased by the industry’s unified response to protect the public from such a dangerous product.”

The Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association, Maryland Beer Wholesalers Association and the Licensed Beverage Distributors of Maryland all voluntarily agreed to ban the distribution and sale of the powered alcohol.

Franchot brokered a similar voluntary ban of caffeinated alcoholic beverages with the industry in 2010 following several tragedies throughout the country, including the death of a Maryland teenager caused by drinks that mixed caffeine and alcohol at life-threatening levels.

“We rallied several years ago to successfully ban the distribution and sale of caffeinated alcoholic beverages because we recognized the harmful effects of these drinks,” said Jimmy Smith, president of the Licensed Beverage Distributors of Maryland. “We will work with the Comptroller any time we can to help keep Marylanders safe from harmful products.”

There have been no reports of deaths or injuries from Palcohol use.

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