Controversial Powdered Alcohol Product Could Be On MD Shelves Soon

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A concern for parents. The next trend in drinking could soon be in Maryland. It’s called “Palcohol–” a powder designed to turn any liquid into an alcoholic beverage.

Rick Ritter has more on the growing concerns about the powder.

Many parents worry the product will be abused by teens. Now they’re calling on Maryland lawmakers to step in.

It’s raising eyebrows nationwide. After being in the works for months, Palcohol could soon be on Maryland shelves–and in your kids’ hands.

“Nothing even close to this has been on the market in the recent past in the U.S. or ever,” said attorney Robert Lehrman.

On Wednesday, the product gained approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

All you do is add the powder to any drink as simple as water. Products include powdered vodka, rum, cosmos and lemon drop cocktails–up to 12 percent alcohol by volume.

“It kind of makes me nervous,” said Cathy Williamson.

The company warns against snorting Palcohol, saying it can get you drunk almost instantly.

Parents like Cathy Williamson fear the worst for their underage children.

“Who’s going to see it if it’s in their pockets? They can go right into the store, buy water, whatever, Gatorade, and pour it in. It’s accessible to them,” she said.

Others don’t mind.

“As long as it’s not marketed to children in a real direct way,” one man said.

But drug abuse expert Mike Gimbel isn’t raising his glass to the idea.

“When it comes to protecting our kids from alcohol, this product is a nightmare,” said Gimbel.

Calling on Maryland lawmakers to address a powder he labels a recipe for abuse by underage drinkers.

“The legislature needs to act immediately to ban this product from being sold in the state of Maryland,” Gimbel said.

Several states already moved to ban powdered alcohol, including Colorado. The company hopes to have the product for sale this summer.

The founder says he came up with the idea for Palcohol because he wanted a way to enjoy alcoholic drinks without having to lug around heavy bottles.

 

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