Powdered Alcohol Approved for Sales | NBC 7 San Diego

Powdered Alcohol Approved for Sales

"Palcohol" is a powder that can turn into an alcoholic beverage in seconds

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Powered alcohol -- or "Palcohol" -- could soon wind up on liquor store shelves after being approved for sales. NBC 7's Danya Bacchus reports. (Published Friday, March 13, 2015)

    A new form of alcohol could be on store shelves by this summer. Powdered alcohol or “Palcohol” just received final approval to be sold in stores.

    The concept sounds strange. Alcohol that isn't liquid, at least not at first. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved four varieties of Palcohol this week.

    In a video on the Palcohol website creator Mark Phillips shows just how easy it is to turn the powder into a cocktail. It comes in a pouch and water is added to make one drink.

    “It’s simple, one shot of alcohol in powdered form,” he says.

    The new product comes as a bit of a surprise to those in the business.

    Alvin Habib owns Park Boulevard Liquor and Deli in San Diego. His shelves are stocked with everything from wine and beer to spirits.

    "When I first heard about it I was kind of like, ‘No, there's no way. This is just another thing that the FDA probably isn't going to approve,’” Habib told NBC 7.

    He’s not sure if he’ll start selling Palcohol at his store.

    "I haven't had anybody ask for it. No vendors have come in willing to bring it in. So, it's still kind of under the radar,” he explained.

    Some local consumers told NBC 7 the concept of powered alcohol sounds odd and not exactly appealing.

    “It’s not the first thing that comes to mind, so I’d definitely say [it sounds] disgusting,” said Tyler Hardrick.

    “I’d have to hear more about it. Not knowing about it – it sounds just really weird,” said Nicholas O’Connor.

    Concerns have been raised about the alcoholic beverage. Health officials and some others believe it could land in the wrong hands.

    "It's a delivery system that we don't know anything about and we fear that it will be made available to people who should not be consuming alcohol,” said Dr. George Koob with the National Institutes of Health during an interview with NBC Chicago in December.

    The Palcohol website says since the product is not on the market yet, there is no evidence suggesting it will be used or abused any different than liquid alcohol.

    There is still no word on the exact date of its availability. Some states are already looking to ban the product, including lawmakers in Colorado.