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Identity & Community

Bill To Outlaw Powdered Alcohol In PA Moves Ahead

It would be illegal to sell or transport powdered alcohol in Pennsylvania under Senate Bill 773, which passed the Senate unanimously last week (49-0).

“This is a gigantic step toward protecting our young people in our state today” said Senator Shirley Kitchen (D-Philadelphia), who authored the measure.

Kitchen also proposed Senate Bill 588, which has been stalled in the Senate Law and Justice Committee since March. The legislation would make the possession and sale of powdered alcohol illegal.

“As adults, we have all the rights and privileges afforded to us under the law ... but our young people, they are just growing to that,” Kitchen said.

Powdered alcohol, often referred to as palcohol, is a distilled, liquid-alcohol that has been modified with tiny rings of sugar called cycodextrins. When the cycodextrin mixture combines with 5 ounces of water, it contains the alcoholic equivalent of a shot of liquor.

“The dangers of powdered alcohol and the access to (it), since it’s not controlled under the liquor laws of this state, (are) a real, real danger,” Senator Andy Dinniman (D-Chester County) said. “Under this bill, there will be some control, and it will be treated just as any other form of alcohol is treated.”

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board prohibits the sale of powdered alcohol in beer distributors and grocery stores that sell beer.

“We have opportunities to protect our young people and today as we vote on this bill we’re exercising such an opportunity,” Dinniman said.

Senate Bill 773 now goes to the House Judiciary Committee.