Powdered Alcohol legislation moves forward

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JEFFERSON CITY- A bill that would set regulations on powdered alcohol passed through the House of Representatives and, on Wednesday, was in a Senate committee.

The bill, Missouri House Bill 29, sets age restrictions for Missourians looking to buy alcoholic powder. Currently there are no age restrictions for purchasing the powder. The bill would require buyers to be 21 years old.

Powdered alcohol has not yet hit store shelves in America, but it has already been banned in 31 states, including every state that borders Missouri except Arkansas. Patricia Pike, R-Adrian, said the bill comes down to a safety issue.

"It's a matter of public safety. Basically they [the other states] know it's very concentrated," Pike said. 

Pike is the sponsor for House Bill 29. She has twice tried to create bills that would completely outlaw powdered alcohol. Both times, the bills have made it through the House only to be dismissed in the Senate.

The main producer of powdered alcohol is Palcohol, whose website describes powdered alcohol as a "revolutionary new product." When added to water, the powder transforms into a mixture with a 10 percent alcohol content. 

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the product to be sold in 2015. The company is looking for a distributor to bring its product to gas stations and liquor stores nationwide.

Pike said one of her main concerns is keeping the product out of the hands of minors.

"This [bill] takes away any doubt that [minors couldn't buy] both with internet sales and at local stores. Alcohol is probably the number one drug issue for teens in the state," Pike said.

In 2013, underage drinking cost citizens of Missouri an estimated $1.3 billion. The year prior, 36 traffic fatalities were attributed to underage drinking. 

The bill is not yet scheduled on the House calendar. 

 

 

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