Senate Passes Bill to Ban Powdered Alcohol

June 11, 2014

The New York State Senate passed legislation (S7217A) today, sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), that would ban the sale of powdered alcohol, a concentrated alcoholic beverage also known as “Palcohol.”  

“Powdered alcohol can be transported very easily and can be hidden in a pocket, making it more portable than a bottle or flask of liquor, Senator Griffo said.  “There are very serious concerns about the illegal use of powdered alcohol by young people, possibly even bringing it into schools or other events and locations that prohibit alcohol consumption. There could also be dangerous health risks from snorting this product to get alcohol directly to the brain. It could even be sprinkled onto someone’s food or in their drink without the other person’s knowledge.”

In April, the FDA approved powdered alcohol, but quickly reversed the approval stating that it has been made in 'error.’ Lipsmark, the maker of Palcohol, quickly resubmitted its application for approval to the FDA. 

The bill passed by the Senate would ban this product in New York should the FDA decide to change their decision again to allow for the product to be marketed in the United States.

Specifically, the bill – which is sponsored in the Assembly (A9615) by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz -- would prohibit anyone from selling, offering for sale or providing for consumption, any powdered or crystalline alcoholic product. 

Alaska has already outlawed powdered alcohol, and legislation to ban it was approved in South Carolina last week and in Vermont last month. 

“Powdered alcohol is unnecessary and has the potential for danger and abuse,” Senator Griffo said.  “Should the FDA reverse its decision again and approve it, we should have a law in place to prohibit the sale of this product in New York.  I hope the Assembly will join us in passing this legislation.”