Palcohol is an instant drink mix for alcoholic beverages that was federally approved for sale on March 12. However, Utah, as well as seven other states, has already banned the sale of Palcohol within its borders.
The main concern among lawmakers is the regulation of distribution of the product. In an interview with KSL, Utah State Representative Steve Eliason claimed that keeping Palcohol out of the hands of minors would be “regulatory nightmare.”
Snow College Professor, and Utah State Representative, Jon Cox, also commented on the emergence of new controlled substances, and illustrated the need to regulate them before they get out of control.
In response to the legislative backlash, Palcohol creator Mark Phillips said, “We know from experience that prohibition doesn’t work. So the responsible action by a legislature should be to regulate it to keep it out of the hands of underage drinkers.” Philips also clarified that in order to buy the product consumers would be required to show ID; just like the sale of regular alcohol.
Another concern of opponents of the product is that consumers of the product will attempt to snort the product rather than mixing it with water at the instructions say, and it is intended to be used. Philips and representatives of his company defended the product on their website, claiming that, “just because a few goofballs use a product irresponsibly doesn’t mean you ban it, but even the goofballs won’t snort Palcohol due to the pain the alcohol would cause. It really burns. Imagine sniffing liquid vodka. Second, it’s impractical. It takes approximately 60 minutes to snort the equivalent of one shot of vodka. Why would anyone do that when they can do a shot of liquid vodka in two seconds?”
The website, palcohol.com, also claims other applications of the product, such as medical and industrial applications, in addition to recreational consumption.
Palcohol is expected to begin sale sometime this spring, and will be released in a variety of four flavors: Vodka, Rum, Cosmopolitan, and Powderita (Margarita), in addition to a non-recreational product for industrial uses such as a fuel source.