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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2015 02:15 PM
From: Senator Shirley M. Kitchen
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation Prohibiting Powdered Alcohol
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation prohibiting the sale and possession of powdered distilled alcohol in Pennsylvania.
Powdered alcohol, also known as “Palcohol” is distilled liquid alcohol (ethanol) that has been molecularly encapsulated in cyclodextrins, or tiny rings of sugar. When mixed with water, the sugar dissolves and the alcohol is freed into the drink. One ounce of powdered distilled alcohol contains the alcoholic equivalent of a shot of liquor when mixed with just five ounces of water.
Powdered alcohol is lighter and easier to transport than in liquid form. The product is also tasteless, odorless and virtually unrecognizable from liquid alcohol, making it much easier to conceal, consume, and acquire by minors. This is a troubling prospect given the fact that underage drinking cost Pennsylvania citizens $1.9 billion dollars last year, according to MADD, and 18% of all DUI fatalities in the Commonwealth involved drivers ages 16-20.
While awaiting final approval by the U.S. Alcohol and Trade Tax Bureau, powdered alcohol has already been banned in Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont, with similar legislation pending in Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Ohio. I invite you to join me in sponsoring legislation that will ensure a dangerous and unnecessary product stays off of Pennsylvania’s store shelves and out of the hands of its most vulnerable citizens.

Introduced as SB588