Earlier this week, an Internet frenzy unleashed the news that powdered alcohol will be available soon in the US.
Announcements on social and mainstream media outlets broadcasted that release is imminent after a beverage law blog reported its approval by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)—part of the US Treasury Department—after four years of review. TTB then put the brakes on, perhaps in response to the hype. “Palcohol” founder Mark Phillips was required to surrender the six labels for the product that had previously been approved.
The posted update on the Palcohol website explains:
“We have been in touch with the TTB and there seemed to be a discrepancy on our fill level, how much powder is in the bag. There was a mutual agreement for us to surrender the labels. This doesn’t mean that Palcohol isn’t approved. It just means that these labels aren’t approved. We will resubmit labels. We don’t have an expected approval date as label approval can vary widely.”
Oops! Feds ‘Palcohol’ Approval Was an Error
The idea of alcohol in powdered form raises all sorts of questions about how it will be used, other than the obvious. Will it be snorted like cocaine? Mixed with food? Taken to places that prohibit alcohol? Enable further underage alcohol consumption?
Unlike other unusual forms of alcohol developed in the past like whipped cream, yogurt, and inhalable vapor, powdered alcohol is much more versatile—it comes in one-ounce envelopes that can fit in your pocket. Its invention was premised on ease of use and affordability. Such convenience will make “slipping a mickey” SO much easier and less expensive than using a rufie—and legal, too.
What happens next? The Associated Press mentions that it’s odd that approval for the labels was given in error considering the long and stringent approval process that any new product must undergo. It may be that TTB decided to take another look at the product once the news of Palcohol’s release went viral in the media. The company seems hopeful that new labels will be approved. Until then, if you want to make powdered alcohol at home, you won’t have to wait.
As we all know, no product brought to market is always strictly used in the manner it was intended. From the perspective of health and safety, this one deserves very careful consideration, no matter what the labels look like.