Tennessee putting a cork in powdered alcohol sales

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Powdered alcohol may have been given the green light by the federal government, but Tennessee is headed toward banning sale of the product.

A powdered alcohol called Palcohol was approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on Wednesday.

Thursday morning, the Tennessee Senate voted for Senate Bill 374, which bans the sale of Palcohol in Tennessee.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro).

“We want to get out in front of it because of the opportunity for abuse,” said Ketron.

Ketron pointed to a number of concerns about the powdered form of alcohol, like the availability to minors and the possibility of the powder being snorted.

“There is also concern that the product could be misused by adults if it is sprinkled onto someone’s food or in their drink without the other person’s knowledge,” he explained.

Addiction experts also warned about the possibility of minors being attracted to the product.

“The packaging appears to be very similar to Capri Sun,” said Brian Sullivan, public relations manager for Addiction Campuses in Brentwood. “That type of product can be easily marketable to children.”

In an online video, Palcohol creator Mark Phillips explained and defended his product.

“All the hysteria about the dangers of Palcohol are unfounded,” Phillips said. “And anyone who makes those claims is either ignorant or just being untruthful to promote their agenda.”

Ketron’s bill was amended to go into effect May 1 if passed by the House of Representatives.

SB 374 will be heard in the House State Government Subcommittee on Wednesday.

Ketron said 13 states have already enacted similar legislation banning powdered alcohol.

Palcohol is set to be available to consumers this summer.

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