NH joins 25 other states in banning powdered alcohol due to concerns over misuse and underage consumption of alcohol
CONCORD – Citing the strong possibility for underage consumption of alcohol, along with potential liability issues for restaurant and lounge owners, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) has issued an order banning the sale of powdered alcohol in New Hampshire and preventing the product from being shipped into the state.
Packaged in small packets, powdered alcohol, which goes by the brand name “Palcohol,” could encourage over-consumption of alcohol leading to a host of health issues, including drunken driving, underage drinking, and inadvertent consumption. With the ability to easily conceal powdered alcohol packets, restaurants, bars and concert halls could face serious liability issues with patrons secretly bringing in powdered alcohol.
“The New Hampshire Liquor Commission is committed to ensuring the safety of all New Hampshire residents and we believe the potentially significant public health concerns of powdered alcohol outweigh any benefit. That is why we have taken proactive steps to ban this product,” said NHLC Chairman Joseph W. Mollica. “NHLC is committed to ensuring the products we offer are safe, and powdered alcohol carries several risk factors, including the strong possibility of underage consumption of alcohol.”
Palcohol, which is manufactured by Lipsmark, LLC, was approved for sale by the United States Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in March 2015. Based on its alcohol content, Palcohol is considered a liquor and therefore would only have been available in New Hampshire at NH Liquor & Wine Outlets, or through direct-ship retailers. Nationally, 25 states have enacted legislation either permanently or temporarily banning powdered alcohol. A legislative study commission in New Hampshire is looking into powdered alcohol and is considering further steps, including an outright ban on the possession of powdered alcohol, which would require legislative approval.
“The potential to misuse powdered alcohol is extremely high, particularly among youths. Powdered alcohol could lead to more instances of alcohol poisoning and impaired driving,” said James Wilson, Director of the NHLC Division of Enforcement & Licensing. “Additionally, powdered alcohol would make it easy for patrons to skirt licensees’ responsible beverage sales and service practices, along with effectively robbing establishments of revenue. Powdered alcohol can also be added into foods, which creates a risk for inadvertent consumption by youths or other unsuspecting people.”
About the NHLC Division of Enforcement and Licensing
The New Hampshire Liquor Commission’s Division of Enforcement and Licensing is charged with enforcing the alcoholic beverage control laws and administrative rules in the state. The Division’s Field Operations Unit conducts investigative and enforcement activities while the Administrative Services Unit manages licensing matters, conducts audits and inspections and oversees direct shipping into the state.
Along with enforcing state liquor laws, the Division of Enforcement and Licensing is dedicated to educating the public, consumers, students and liquor license holders about the state’s liquor laws and statutes, along with the legal, financial, social and health risks of abusing alcohol.
For more information about the Division of Enforcement and Licensing, visit www.nh.gov/liquor/enforcement.
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