Powdered Alcohol Products: New Challenge in an Era of Needed Regulation
Timothy S. Naimi and James F. Mosher have together authored a research article on powdered alcohol. It can be read for free on the website of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
This is an excerpt:
In March 2015, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved several powdered alcohol products, sold under the brand name Palcohol, for sale in the United States. Powdered or crystalline alcohol is alcohol that has been absorbed into a carbohydrate (eg, dextrin), resulting in a dry state rather than its usual liquid form. […] These powdered alcohol products are 50% alcohol by weight and, if mixed according to package instructions, would yield a liquid that is 10% alcohol by volume.
Failure of federal and state governments to regulate the alcohol market effectively has been the rule rather than the exception. Numerous federal reports and academic reviews have issued reports about alcohol policy. The science and resulting recommendations are remarkably consistent: increase taxes, reduce availability, and reduce marketing, particularly to youth.
Against this discouraging backdrop, state responses to the federal approval of powdered alcohol may signal a new era for state-level alcohol policy action. As of June 2015, 12 states (Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington) prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol; Maryland, Minnesota, and South Carolina have enacted temporary bans; and more states are considering bans or restrictions or have entered into voluntary agreements with relevant industry groups. Control states (states that directly operate wholesale businesses, retail businesses, or both) have the authority to ban powdered alcohol without legislative action, and several have announced their intention to do so.