Senate tries to ban sale of powdered alcohol products


It could soon be illegal to sell or possess powdered alcohol in Vermont after the Senate on Tuesday approved an amendment calling for more information about the new product.

Federal regulators this month gave and then rescinded approval of Palcohol, which is mixed with water to create an alcoholic beverage. Palcohol also carries a warning against snorting the product, USA Today reported.

Worried about the potential abuse of the product in Vermont, Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, proposed an amendment to study the substance and make sale and possession illegal until officials know more.

"This is a product that could be used very unwisely," Mullin said.

A study of powdered alcohol by the commissioner of Liquor Control and the Department of Health must be complete by January 15, 2015, the amendment says.

Mullin said the company that makes Palcohol plans to reapply for approval in the fall.

Until the study is complete, the amendment imposes fines and potential prison time on people who possess or sell powdered alcohol. The fine for possession is up to $500. The penalty for selling is up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Sen. Peter Galbraith, D-Windham, Tuesday on the Senate floor accused Mullin's committee of not researching powdered alcohol thoroughly before proposing an amendment. Powdered alcohol is legal in Japan, Germany and the Netherlands, he said.

"I'm not in anyway endorsing or approving this product," Galbraith said.

Galbraith proposed his own amendment, removing the jail penalty. It failed.


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