New form of alcohol concerns lawmakers, liquor retailers

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Indiana lawmakers and even some local liquor stores are concerned about a brand new form of alcohol that could soon be available.

A state house committee voted unanimously Wednesday to pass a bill that temporarily bans a powdered form of alcohol. Earlier this month, a federal agency approved the sale of what’s called Palcohol.

One ounce can be mixed with any liquid to create an instant drink that has the same alcohol content as a shot of liquor. It comes in four flavors: rum, vodka, cosmopolitan and margarita.

Concerns include it being too easily concealed and minors getting a hold of it.

Gary Gardner, Operations Manager of Belmont Beverage said he first heard of the powder idea about a year ago and is absolutely against it, saying too many would abuse it.

“Let’s think of it this way. Think of it as Kool-aid. Okay, you’ve got a powdered item that you can put into water and came up with an instant alcoholic beverage and I just think it’s an awful idea,” said Gardner, “Think of the purses, think of the coat jackets, it’s gonna be everywhere. It’s just too easy. You’re making something that should be controlled, you’re making it way too easy for kids, minors, adults to carry around.”

According to Democratic State Representative Terri Austin of District 36, the penalty for using Palcohol would be minimal, a citation, similar to a speeding ticket.

Lawmakers decided Wednesday that this new product deserves a serious look, saying hastily banning it would drive up profit and encourage people to drive across state lines.

“Banning a product too early rarely works. In fact, what it does actually, it drives the product underground. It actually heightens the market and increases profit,” said Representative Austin.

The bill goes before a study committee in the General Assembly so it can look closer at whether to approve the sale and if so, under what conditions.



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