Powdered Alcohol to Hit Store Shelves

Palcohol, a powdered alcohol product, approved

Powdered alcohol is set for its arrival on store shelves after its unsurprisingly rocky path through federal regulations.

Designed as a powder that dissolves into water to form an alcoholic beverage, Palcohol had its initial approval revoked — only to have the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau reverse course and officially offer its blessing this month. Though states are still free to further regulate (or ban) the product, Palcohol is otherwise set to go on sale as soon as this summer.

The company's website is already encouraging potential consumers to fight back against attempts to exclude the product at the state level.

"Many states are moving to ban powdered alcohol," the site reads. "Why? Because the liquor industry is against it, and they want to squash competition and protect their market share. The liquor companies have lots of money to lobby for what they want, and we are no match for their deep pockets."

Detractors insist the product is susceptible to abuse by minors, snorting and use as a covert spike in drinks.

As David Jernigan of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health told USA Today in a statement, "We anticipate that allowing powdered alcohol on to the market will have grave consequences for our nation's young people."

That's certainly not how Palcohol sees it.

"People unfortunately use alcohol irresponsibly," Palcohol creator Mark Phillips argued, per USA Today. "But I don't see any movement to ban liquid alcohol. You don't ban something because a few irresponsible people use it improperly. They can snort black pepper. Do you ban black pepper?"

However consumers decide to use Palcohol, the federal government didn't have sufficient basis to deny approval.

"Potential for abuse isn't grounds for us to deny a label," bureau spokesman Tom Hogue told the Associated Press.

Some states will almost certainly disagree. Last month, Colorado introduced legislation to stop the sale of Palcohol for the time being, and it remains to be seen how many states will get on board.