The Legalities of Powdered Alcohol

April 29, 2014 Law Research

 

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In recent news, a new powdered alcohol company came on the market by the name of Palcohol. The alcohol starts off as a liquid, is turned into a solid and vaporized to make it into a powder form. The pouches of Palcohol come in flavors like cosmopolitan, margarita, and mojito, and contain 12% to 60% alcohol by volume. Just add water!

 

You also might have heard that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved of these new spirits. As interesting as this new product may be, it has been corrected that the approval was a mistake and Palcohol will not be seen in a store near you this summer.

 

As of April 21st, Palcohol surrendered all seven labels that were approved by the TTB.  There are many legal issues that come up with this new form of alcohol.

 

The major issues with Palcohol was that the website conveyed other uses for the product other than another form of alcohol consumption. On the company website, sayings like “What’s worse than going to a concert, sporting event, etc. and having to pay $10, $15, $20 for a mixed drink with tax and tip. Are you kidding me?! Take Palcohol into the venue and enjoy a mxed drink for a fraction of the cost.” The problem with this type of advertisement is that most events venues do not allow outside drinks for safety reasons. The website suggests to consumers that it is legal for them to take these dehydrated alcoholic beverages into any venue.

 

Other sayings on the website state that Palcohol can be added into food, such as guacamole, BBQ sandwiches, salad, and eggs in the morning. This website can be seen as a danger to the public, because it does not openly express the dangers that can occur when using this product, or a disclaimer of possible effects from using the alcoholic product.  The website of this powdered alcohol product, in a way, promoted reckless behavior without cautionary notes to the public. This is especially dangerous to young people who might be more influenced to try “margarita guacamole” than an adult buyer.

 

The current website is more “tame” compared to the previous website, and also includes a short biography of the owner, Mark Phillips. According to the maker, he came up with the idea because he is an “active guy” who wanted to enjoy an adult beverage without having to carry a heavy bottle while camping, hiking, etc.

 

Although the idea of a dehydrated alcohol is good, the way the website suggested to use the product made it seem less than advantageous to society. Promoting sneaking in alcoholic beverages into restricted venues is not a responsible move for a company. There could be a number of lawsuits that can occur from the company suggestion Palcohol made on the website.

 

In conclusion, powdered alcohol will not be coming onto a shelf in your local grocery store, and Palcohol escaped an array of possible lawsuits by having the TTB strike down their approval to the public. The most important thing new alcohol product companies must remember is that they must follow the federal regulations for the product, as well as marketing and advertising techniques that don’t promote risqué behavior in an enticing way to the public.

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