SC legislators pass bill banning powdered alcohol

The Associated PressJune 3, 2014 

Larry Martin

Powdered alcohol is banned in South Carolina following a vote by the Legislature on Tuesday.

The House agreed 96-0 with the Senate’s decision last week to tack the ban onto a bill about business alcohol licenses. The vote sends the amended measure to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk.

Selling alcohol in powder form isn’t legal in the U.S., but one company is seeking permission through federal regulators.

Senate Judiciary chairman Larry Martin proposed the ban last month after learning about the potential product called “Palcohol.” He contends powdered alcohol could be a huge concern as it would circumvent South Carolina laws that define alcohol as a liquid.

Martin believes that could allow people under 21 to buy the product.

Banning it “gives us time to determine what we need to do to our laws to regulate it and prevent it being sold in convenience stores to children,” said Martin, R-Pickens.

Tacking his proposal onto a separate measure allowed for passage before the legislative session ends Thursday.

Vermont legislators passed a bill last month outlawing the product.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, has asked the Food and Drug Administration via letter to prevent Palcohol from reaching store shelves this fall, saying it would become “the Kool-Aid of teen binge drinking.” The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau gave Palcohol label approvals April 8, though the agency later said that was an error.

Palcohol’s parent company Lipsmark plans to resubmit the labels for approval. It plans to offer six varieties of powdered alcohol, including vodka, rum and four cocktails.

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