The manufacturer of Palcohol, a powdered alcohol that can be mixed into any number of beverages, won approval from federal regulators this week, but some state-level regulators are moving to ban it before it hits shelves.
"The sale of powdered alcohol is prohibited in Massachusetts, and for good reason," state treasurer Deb Goldberg, whose office oversees the Alcohol Beverages Control Commission, told The Boston Herald.
"Our first priority is to protect the health and safety of our residents, especially children."
Goldberg is among a chorus of critics who say that Palcohol, which comes in a pouch, has potential for abuse by minors. It would also be easier to sneak the powdered alcohol into sporting events and other venues, some argue.
Palcohol founder Mark Phillips has long argued against such assertions, saying that powdered alcohol can and should be regulated like liquid alcohol.
"Since the product isn’t even on the market yet, there is not one shred of evidence that it will be used or abused any differently than liquid alcohol. Every concern we’ve heard is unfounded speculation and that is no basis to outlaw a product," the company states on its website.
"The two federal agencies that have jurisdiction over alcohol, the FDA and the TTB, have reviewed Palcohol and tested it and found no problems with allowing it to go forward to be approved for sale."
Furthermore, Phillips argues that prohibiting powdered alcohol in some states but not others will create black markets and cause states to miss out on tax revenue from its sale.
In addition to Massachusetts, Colorado had previously moved to ban powdered alcohol. In recent months, however, the Centennial State reversed course, changing one proposed bill to ensure that powdered alcohol will be regulated like liquid alcohol upon federal approval.
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