Powdered Alcohol 2017 Legislation

Heather Morton 5/11/2017

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.

Powdered AlcoholThe makers of Palcohol, who sought 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. In March 2015, the TTB approved the revised labels for Palcohol, allowing the product to be sold legally in the United States, unless otherwise prohibited.

In May 2017, the TTB approved labels for Lieutenant Blender's Cocktails in a Bag. The Cheat-a-Rita in a Bag will be produced by a company in Galveston, Texas.

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.

(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, so that powders and crystals are regulated under the existing alcohol statutes:

"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 2014, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont joined Alaska by enacting legislation prohibiting the sale of powdered alcohol. Similar to Delaware's definition statute, Michigan enacted legislation that includes powder containing 0.5 percent or more of alcohol by volume in the definition of "alcoholic liquor."

Fifteen bills in 10 states and Puerto Rico are pending in the 2017 legislative session to date.

Powdered Alcohol 50-state Enacted Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thirty-five jurisdictions have banned powdered alcohol: Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia statutorily prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol. Maryland’s ban is a temporary two-year statutory ban. Colorado, Delaware and New Mexico have included powdered alcohol in their statutory definitions of alcohol so that the product can be regulated under their existing alcohol statutes.

Powdered Alcohol 2017 Legislation
State: Bill Number: Bill Summary:
Alabama None  
Alaska None  
Arizona None  
Arkansas H.B. 2224

Concerns powdered alcohol.

California A.B. 1054

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act contains various provisions regulating the application for, the issuance of, the suspension of, and the conditions imposed upon alcoholic beverage licenses by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. That act requires the department to revoke the license of any licensee who manufactures, distributes, or sells powdered alcohol, as provided, and prohibits the possession, purchase, sale, offer for sale, distribution, manufacture, or use of powdered alcohol, the violation of which is punishable as an infraction. This bill exempts from the above-described provisions the use of powdered alcohol as an ingredient in nonpowdered products and the production, sale, or offering for sale or delivery, receipt, or purchasing for resale powdered alcohol for use as an ingredient in nonpowdered products.

Colorado None  
Connecticut None  
Delaware

None

 
District of Columbia None  
Florida None  
Georgia None  
Guam Not available  
Hawaii None  
Idaho None  
Illinois

S.B. 191

Passed Senate 4/27/17

Amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Prohibits the possession of any product consisting of or containing powdered alcohol. Provides that a knowing violation of that prohibition is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense.

Indiana None  
Iowa None  
Kansas None  
Kentucky None  
Louisiana None  
Maine None  
Maryland None  
Massachusetts None  
Michigan None  
Minnesota None  
Mississippi None  
Missouri

H.B. 29

Passed House 4/10/17

This bill adds powdered alcohol to the definition of intoxicating liquor used in state liquor control laws.

Missouri

H.B. 433

Passed House 4/13/17

The bill requires anyone shipping or delivering powered alcohol to a resident of this state for personal use to have an alcohol carrier license. The bill also adds powdered alcohol to the definition of intoxicating liquor used in state liquor control laws.

Montana None  
Nebraska None  
Nevada None  
New Hampshire None  
New Jersey None  
New Mexico None  
New York A.B. 4362

Adds the qualifier "beverage" when discussing the sale of crystalline alcoholic products.

North Carolina None  
North Dakota None  
N. Mariana Islands Not available  
Ohio None  
Oklahoma

H.B. 1302

Sent to governor 5/10/17

Relates to alcoholic beverages; defines terms; prohibits certain acts relating to powdered alcohol; provides penalties; amends 37 O.S. 2011, §521, as last amended by §1, Chapter 367, O.S.L. 2016 and 595 (37 O.S. Supp. 2016, §521), and §§27 and 41, Chapter 366, O.S.L. 2016 (37A O.S. Supp. 2016, §§2-115 and 2-129),which relate to acts authorized by various licenses; provides that special event license and charitable alcoholic beverage event license not required for certain entities under certain circumstances; repeals §1 of this act effective Oct. 1, 2018.

Oregon None  
Pennsylvania None  
Puerto Rico

S.B. 401

Establishes the law to prohibit in the Commonwealth the importation, production, distribution, possession, sale and use of any product of alcohol in dust, in order to protect public health through the non-acceptance of any other modality that facilitates and encourages the consumption of alcohol by any citizen; recognizes the damage effects on health and the social welfare caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol.

Rhode Island None  
South Carolina None  
South Dakota

S.B. 81

Signed by governor 3/10/17, Chapter 163

Prohibits the manufacture, sale, or possession of alcohol in a powdered, condensed, or other concentrated form under most circumstances.

Tennessee None  
Texas H.B. 47

Relates to the status and taxation of powdered alcohol as an alcoholic beverage.

Texas

H.B. 133

S.B. 896

Relates to the status of powdered alcohol as an alcoholic beverage for purposes of the Alcoholic Beverage Code; adds requirements for packaging and advertising of powdered alcohol.

Utah None  
Vermont H.B. 7

This bill proposes to make technical amendments to Title 7 to improve its clarity through the modernization of its language and the reorganization of its provisions, and repeals or amends out-of-date and obsolete provisions to reflect more accurately the current practices or procedures of the Department of Liquor Control and the Liquor Control Board; makes technical amendments to the provisions regarding powdered alcohol.

Virginia None  
Virgin Islands Not available  
Washington None  
West Virginia None  
Wisconsin A.B. 121 This bill makes changes to treat powdered alcohol as an intoxicating liquor, which as currently defined includes beverages in the form of wine and distilled spirits. Current law generally prohibits a person from manufacturing, distributing, or selling alcohol beverages, including intoxicating liquor, without the appropriate license or permit. Current law imposes numerous requirements related to the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor in this state.  Current law also imposes an occupational tax on intoxicating liquor manufactured in or brought into this state. This bill modifies the definition of “intoxicating liquor” to include, with limited exceptions, any substance that is sold in powder or crystalline form, that contains more than 0.4 percent alcohol by weight, and that is fit for human consumption either in its powder or crystalline form or after it is added to food or mixed with water or another liquid (powdered alcohol). As a result, under the bill, powdered alcohol may be sold to consumers only by licensed retailers, may be manufactured in this state only by persons holding a manufacturer's permit issued by the Department of Revenue, may be distributed in this state only by persons holding a wholesaler's permit issued by DOR, and may be shipped from another state into this state only by persons who are the product's primary source of supply and hold an out-of-state shipper's permit issued by DOR. The bill includes exceptions for powdered alcohol used for certain purposes, including powdered alcohol used by hospitals or for scientific research or other medicinal, pharmaceutical, industrial, or nonbeverage purposes. The bill also imposes the same occupational tax on powdered alcohol that applies to other forms of intoxicating liquor. For powdered alcohol, this tax is calculated on the volume of the product that results after it has been mixed according to the package instructions.
Wisconsin S.B. 71

This bill makes changes to treat powdered alcohol as an intoxicating liquor, which as currently defined includes beverages in the form of wine and distilled spirits. Current law generally prohibits a person from manufacturing, distributing, or selling alcohol beverages, including intoxicating liquor, without the appropriate license or permit. Current law imposes numerous requirements related to the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor in this state. Current law also imposes an occupational tax on intoxicating liquor manufactured in or brought into this state. This bill modifies the definition of “intoxicating liquor” to include, with limited exceptions, any substance that is sold in powder or crystalline form, that contains more than 0.4 percent alcohol by weight, and that is fit for human consumption either in its powder or crystalline form or after it is added to food or mixed with water or another liquid (powdered alcohol). As a result, under the bill, powdered alcohol may be sold to consumers only by licensed retailers, may be manufactured in this state only by persons holding a manufacturer's permit issued by the Department of Revenue, may be distributed in this state only by persons holding a wholesaler's permit issued by DOR, and may be shipped from another state into this state only by persons who are the product's primary source of supply and hold an out-of-state shipper's permit issued by DOR. The bill includes exceptions for powdered alcohol used for certain purposes, including powdered alcohol used by hospitals or for scientific research or other medicinal, pharmaceutical, industrial, or nonbeverage purposes. The bill also imposes the same occupational tax on powdered alcohol that applies to other forms of intoxicating liquor. For powdered alcohol, this tax is calculated on the volume of the product that results after it has been mixed according to the package instructions.

Wyoming None  

 

 

 
 
 
 
Heather 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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