News release from Senate Republican Caucus:
(NASHVILLE) — Legislation that would ban the sale of powdered or crystalline alcohol in Tennessee was given final approval by the Tennessee Senate today. Senate Bill 374, would make it a Class A misdemeanor offense to sell the product.
It was announced that Palcohol, which is the brand name for the new product, was approved by the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau this week. When mixed with water the powdered alcohol becomes a cocktail. It is being promoted as a product that can be easily transported by the consumer.
“The powdered alcohol product is creating concern nationwide that it would be an easy and accessible target for abuse by underage drinkers, including the possibility of being snorted,” said Senator Ketron. “There is also concern that the product could be misused by adults if it is sprinkled onto someone’s food or in their drink without the other person’s knowledge.”
“It could easily be over-consumed by a person not knowing how much to dilute it by, by eating it undiluted, or by mixing it with an existing alcohol to create a drink with an unknown potency. This would greatly increase the risk of over-drinking and alcohol poisoning,” Ketron added.
Powdered alcohol products would not be defined as an alcoholic beverage under current Tennessee law because it is not a liquid and would be free from regulation by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. This means it could be sold directly to minors in grocery stores, over the Internet, or in any other location.
“In addition, powdered alcohol could create liability issues for owners of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, as the accessibility of the product and the ease in which it can be snuck into an establishment could unintentionally lead to the illegal over-serving of a customer by the establishment,” he continued.
Thirteen states have enacted similar legislation banning powdered alcohol.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives where it is scheduled to be heard in the House State Government Subcommittee on Wednesday.
UPDATE/NOTE: TNReport observes that the action marks “a noteworthy instance of common agreement with New York’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer” by the Tennessee’s GOP Supermajority and has more detail on the product and the movement to ban it HERE.