Powdered Alcohol 2014 Legislation

Heather Morton 12/4/2014

Alcoholic beverages may soon be available in powdered form or in capsules.

In April 2014, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved labels for a product called Palcohol that can be added to water to make an alcoholic beverage. The makers of Palcohol, who are seeking federal approval to market it, say their freeze-dried vodka, rum, “powderitas” and other drinks will appeal to backpackers and others who want a lightweight, more portable form of liquor. Within two weeks of approving the labels, the TTB issued a statement that the label approvals were issued in error.

Before the 2014 legislative session, two states had existing statutes that would affect any powdered alcohol products. Alaska §04.16.110, enacted in 1995, prohibits the sale of powdered alcoholic beverages for human consumption:

A person may not sell an alcoholic beverage if it

(1) is intended for human consumption and is in powdered form; or

(2) contains more than 76 percent alcohol by volume.

Delaware tit. 4, §101, amended in the 1985-1986 legislative session, includes powders in the definition of a concentrated alcoholic beverage, but the statutes do not regulate concentrated alcoholic beverages further:

"Concentrated alcoholic beverage" shall mean any powders or crystals, liquid or any other substances which, after being mixed with sugar, water or any other nonalcoholic materials, ferments or otherwise becomes a wine, beer or other alcoholic beverage.

Separate from the statutory activity in Alaska and Delaware, California adopted Alcohol Beverage Control Regulation 2557 that specifies that powdered alcohol will be taxed the same as regular alcohol. The regulation was adopted in 1978.

In the 2014 legislative session, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont joined Alaska by enacting legislation prohibiting the sale of powdered alcohol. Similar to Delaware's statute, Michigan enacted legislation that includes powder containing 0.5 percent or more of alcohol by volume in the definition of "alcoholic liquor." Additional bans on powdered alcohol were proposed in Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Ohio in 2014.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

2014 Powdered Alcohol Legislation
State Bill Number Bill Summary
Alabama none  
Alaska none  
Arizona none  
Arkansas none  
California none  
Colorado none  
Connecticut none  
Delaware none  
District of Columbia none  
Florida none  
Georgia none  
Guam not available  
Hawaii none  
Idaho none  
Illinois none  
Indiana none  
Iowa none  
Kansas none  
Kentucky none  

S.B. 204

Signed by governor 6/18/14, Act 688

Relates to containers for beverages of high alcoholic content. Requires certain container sizes for certain alcoholic beverages sold or shipped in the state. Provides relative to the number of containers in each shipping case or container. Exempts certain products. Prohibits the sale and shipment into this state of any containers of powdered alcohol.
Maine none  
Maryland none  
Massachusetts none  

H.B. 5798

Signed by governor 10/15/14, Public Act 353
Amends the Michigan Liquor Control Code to do the following: (i) Includes powder containing 0.5 percent or more of alcohol by volume in the definition of "alcoholic liquor", and refer in that definition to substances fit for food or beverage purposes; (ii) Increases from 5,000 to 18,000 the number of barrels of beer that a brewpub may manufacture and brew per year; (iii) Requires an applicant, if the Liquor Control Commission (LCC) required him or her to submit fingerprints, to have his or her prints taken and submit them to the Michigan Department of State Police and FBI for a criminal history check; (iv) Requires a conditional license for the transfer of a license at an existing location to include any permits and approvals held with that license; (v) Includes keg couplers that were lent to an on-premises retailer, and sporting event or entertainment tickets, among the items that some licensees may give to another licensee; (vi) Allows a wholesaler to sell brand logoed items within the packaging of an alcoholic liquor product to an off-premises licensee.
Michigan S.B. 1072 Prohibits and clarifies powdered alcohol.
Minnesota H.F. 3364

Prohibits powdered alcohol.

Mississippi none  
Missouri none  
Montana No regular 2014 session  
Nebraska none  
Nevada No regular 2014 session  
New Hampshire none  
New Jersey A.B. 3580 The bill provides that no person shall sell purchase for resale in this state any product consisting of or containing powdered alcohol. The bill defines “powdered alcohol” as a powder or crystalline substance containing alcohol that is produced for human consumption.
New Mexico none  
New York

A.B. 9615

S.B. 7217

Passed Senate 6/11/14

Prohibits the sale or offering for sale of any powdered or crystalline alcohol product.
New York

A.B. 9633

S.B. 7195
Prohibits the sale of powdered alcohol and the possession of powdered distilled alcohol by persons under the age of 21.
North Carolina none  
North Dakota No regular 2014 session  

H.B. 594

Passed House 11/20/14

Amends §§4301.62 and 4303.182 and enacts §4301.71 of the Revised Code to prohibit the sale or offering for sale for human consumption of powdered or crystalline alcohol, to allow a person to possess beer or intoxicating liquor on the premises of a market if the beer or intoxicating liquor has been purchased from a D liquor permit holder that is located in the market, and to require the D-6 liquor permit to be issued to a specified D liquor permit holder that is located in a state park that has a working farm on the state park's property.
Oklahoma none  
Oregon none  
Pennsylvania none  
Puerto Rico none  
Rhode Island none  
South Carolina

H.B. 4399

Signed by governor 6/6/14, Act 253
Amends §61-6-120, relating to certain alcohol permits in the proximity of schools, playgrounds, and churches, so as to allow the issuance of a license for the on-premises consumption of alcoholic liquor if all playgrounds and churches in the proximity affirmatively state that they do not object to the issuance; and adds §61-6-4157 so as to prohibit certain transactions involving powdered alcohol, to prohibit the holder of certain licenses from using powdered alcohol as an alcoholic beverage, to provide penalties, and to provide exceptions.
South Carolina S.B. 1283 Adds §61-6-4157 so as to provide that it is unlawful for a person to use, offer for use, purchase, offer to purchase, sell, offer to sell, or possess powdered alcohol or for a license holder for on-premises or off-premises consumption of alcoholic liquors to use powdered alcohol as an alcoholic beverage, and to provide penalties and exceptions.
South Dakota none  
Tennessee none  
Texas none  
Utah none  

S.B. 299

Signed by governor 6/24/14, Act 202
This act is an omnibus alcohol bill. Allows wholesale dealers to offer tastings of malt or vinous beverages to the management and staff of businesses who have applied for first- or second-class licenses but have yet to receive the license from the Department of Liquor Control, provided that the local control commission has approved the liquor license. Legalizes sampler flights of malt beverages, vinous beverages, and spirituous liquors. Allows second-class license holders to pick up vinous beverages directly from a manufacturer or rectifier of vinous beverages. Prohibits the possession and sale of powdered alcohol.
Virginia none  
Virgin Islands not available  
Washington none  
West Virginia none  
Wisconsin none  
Wyoming none  


Powered by LexisNexis State NetHeather Morton is a program principal in Fiscal Affairs. She covers financial services, alcohol production and sales, and medical malpractice issues for NCSL.

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