The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau recently approved the sale of Palchohol, a freeze dried alcohol product sold in powder form. Though the content has since been removed, Gawker reported the Palchohol website previously contained information about how their product could be "sprinkled onto almost any dish to give it an extra kick" and even addressed snorting their powdered alcohol "Yes, you can snort it... Good idea? No. It will mess you up."
Unsurprisingly, many state legislatures have concerns about powdered alcohol products. The General Assembly of Virginia banned the product, citing concerns that the powder would be easily transported, hidden, and consumed, which could mean that the potential for abuse by young people would be high.
Now a bill is before the Washington State Legislature that would ban the sale of powdered alcohol in the state. Experts say that, in addition to the risk of underage consumption, the risk of abuse potential of alcohol powder is extraordinarily high. Though the company has removed the information regarding insuffilation of its product from the website, experts are expressing concern that the ability to snort the product could cause severe issues.
Mark Philips, the creator of Palchohol, feels his product is as safe as standard alcohol, with the added benefit of convenience for those (such as rock climbers, backpackers and kayakers) where weight and bulk are important factors. In fact, his personal history of outdoor activities is the reason he began developing a powdered alcohol product, as he wanted a convenient alternative to traditional bottles.
We certainly have our fair share of hikers, climbers, backpackers and kayakers here in Washington, but does the danger posed by the powdered pouches outweigh the benefits to these outdoorsy groups? If the State Legislature follows the lead of Virginia and several other states, the answer to this question will be moot.