Heartbreak: Powdered alcohol might not be coming soon after all

posted at 6:01 pm on April 22, 2014 by Allahpundit

Is it really too much to ask of science to give us a way to get a buzz on without needing to pee twice an hour? (I know, I know. I mean a legal way.)

I want to work within the system. But the next time I miss third-and-long in the fourth quarter because I was forced to have a six-pack instead of sprinkling Vodka dust on my nachos, I’m going to start thinking outside the box.

A product called “Palcohol” gained widespread attention online in recent days after it was reported that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the powdered alcohol, including vodka and rum varieties. But a representative for the federal bureau, Tom Hogue, said in an email to The Associated Press late Monday that the approvals were issued in error

“An oversight of this nature does not ring true to me,” [lawyer Robert] Lehrman said in a phone interview. He suggested that the bureau may have heard back from lawmakers wanting more information on the powdered alcohols.

The Palcohol homepage insists that the substance has still been approved, that it’s merely the labeling that the TTB has a problem with. (“[T]here seemed to be a discrepancy on our fill level, how much powder is in the bag.”) On the other hand, it notes drily that the time frame for approving labels “can vary widely,” i.e. if Lehrman’s right that the TTB has gotten cold feet after all the media attention, they can use the labeling process to hold this up for a good long while.

Frankly, the feds may be the least of Palcohol’s problems.

“I would expect ferocious opposition from whatever incumbent industries are adversely affected, in direct proportion to the threat, and these are not small industries,” Lehrman said. “In most states, it’s mandatory to sell spirits through a licensed wholesaler; many of these are big and conservative businesses with a lot invested in the status quo. It’s hard to imagine a state agency being quick to put this in stores.”…

Phillips and Palcohol are sure to face other issues involving packaging and marketing, Lehrman said, as well as various state and federal agencies who may seek to ban it. And that doesn’t even include the challenge of obtaining liability insurance.

“I really think you should call a good insurance expert and see how loud they laugh about insuring a product like this,” Lehrman said.

In other words, Palcohol’s going to have the same problem in some states as Tesla had in New Jersey. Their direct sales model threatened car dealerships, so the car dealers got their lobbyists involved and poof — Tesla’s effectively banned in a state that nonetheless has a high demand for luxury cars. If Palcohol starts cutting too deeply into wholesalers’ and manufacturers’ bottom lines, it’ll also either be banned or have its regulatory costs driven up to the point of unviability. This is why we can’t have nice things. The next time someone mentions “crony capitalism,” I want you to picture yourself doing a line of Palcohol off the hood of your brand new Model S. In a truly free America, it could happen. Heaven is for real.

Here’s Kennedy, host of Fox Business’s new libertarian show “The Independents,” encouraging everyone to calm down already.


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Is this even possible? chemically, I mean?

mesquito on April 22, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I didn’t even read the first “powdered Alcohol” post. Allow me to ManSplain….

Mord on April 22, 2014 at 6:07 PM

…a representative for the federal bureau, Tom Hogue, said in an email to The Associated Press late Monday that the approvals were issued in error

No kidding?

Meh…I’ll stick with the old fashioned way, and drink an actual old fashioned.

JetBoy on April 22, 2014 at 6:09 PM

So what are we supposed to cut our cocaine with?

rbj on April 22, 2014 at 6:11 PM

If the powder functions as they are saying you will still need to visit the head Allah.

lexhamfox on April 22, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Awe! Gee! Shucky-Darn!

Tinker on April 22, 2014 at 6:16 PM

it notes drily

ISWYDT

notropis on April 22, 2014 at 6:18 PM

I think this powdered alcohol is a terrible idea.

Key West Reader on April 22, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Man, there would be a lot of death in the wake of this hitting the market!

allstonian on April 22, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Bummer…

*snicker*

workingclass artist on April 22, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I bet it goes good with Pop Rocks.

Flange on April 22, 2014 at 6:27 PM

But hey let’s roll with the mary-jee-wana!

CW on April 22, 2014 at 6:29 PM

I guess now I’ll have to put sugar back in the sugar bowl. I had it cleaned out and waiting for this…

climbnjump on April 22, 2014 at 6:33 PM

If you could afford to buy (and store/drive/maintain) a “Model S”, why would you be buying “powdered alcohol” in the first place?

Single Malt, you Philistine!

Mord on April 22, 2014 at 6:36 PM

*Clinky!*

;)

Seven Percent Solution on April 22, 2014 at 6:43 PM

I guess now I’ll have to put sugar back in the sugar bowl….

climbnjump on April 22, 2014 at 6:33 PM

It’s just as well. I was wondering how hiding it in the toilet tank was going to work….
Carry on.

SailorMark on April 22, 2014 at 6:48 PM

In other words, Palcohol’s going to have the same problem in some states as Tesla had in New Jersey. Their direct sales model threatened car dealerships, so the car dealers got their lobbyists involved and poof — Tesla’s effectively banned in a state that nonetheless has a high demand for luxury cars.

Yeah, I remember there was kind of a similar case in Maryland a while back over wine. Consumers wanted to be able to buy wine directly through the mail, but wine dealers, or whatever the structure was, opposed it because they would have been cut out. I forget what happened with that.

But couldn’t they just sell the powder at liquor stores only and make everybody happy?

WhatSlushfund on April 22, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Welp…back to lugging bottles/cans on camping trips…

nextgen_repub on April 22, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Yeah, the TTB can do that to you… the FDA is notorious for holding up approved drugs because they didn’t like the label. I can think of at least two drugs that are safe, effective, and had approval being held up for at least 2 years because of the label.

This government system has got to go: that is just insane.

Now as for the palcohol, I can hardly wait as it will be great to go along with food pills. Compound a few martinis into pills, and with about 5 or 6 pills I can have an entire 3 course meal!

The best part about the concept is that it doesn’t take much alcohol in water to kill of bacteria and virii: thus you can get a drinkable liquid in the field with very little of it. As an emergency survival aid, it is a wonderful idea.

ajacksonian on April 22, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Back to butt chugging.

lorien1973 on April 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

the approvals were issued in error

Why is the federal government “approving” or “disapproving” an alcohol product? Prohibition was outlawed and the 21st Amendment actually made alcohol the second material item for which we have a positive right to produce and possess, along with guns, and the feds are expressly cut out of any regulation. The states can regulate alcohol, it’s right there in the 21st Amendment that they can do so.

Maybe that’s what they meant by issuing an approval in error? Nah, wishful thinking.

Buddahpundit on April 22, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Ah nuts! I was figuring on this saving a ton of shelf space in my bomb shelter. ;)

jix on April 22, 2014 at 7:55 PM

So what are we supposed to cut our cocaine with?

rbj on April 22, 2014 at 6:11 PM

…I was looking forward to snorting it too!

KOOLAID2 on April 22, 2014 at 8:23 PM

If Palcohol starts cutting too deeply into wholesalers’ and manufacturers’ bottom lines, it’ll also either be banned or have its regulatory costs driven up to the point of unviability. This is why we can’t have nice things. The next time someone mentions “crony capitalism,” I want you to picture yourself doing a line of Palcohol off the hood of your brand new Model S. In a truly free America, it could happen. Heaven is for real.

.
I heard a call for Rev-0-lewshun… am I wrong? And what is the reason for the religious reference to heaven from an atheist? I’m not really reading an immediate conversion, am I right?

ExpressoBold on April 22, 2014 at 9:21 PM

…I was looking forward to snorting it too!

KOOLAID2 on April 22, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Doesn’t alcohol need to be passed through the liver for it to be broken down into the fun molecules?

Buddahpundit on April 22, 2014 at 9:29 PM

It’s just as well. I was wondering how hiding it in the toilet tank was going to work….
Carry on.

SailorMark on April 22, 2014 at 6:48 PM

When you see your dog stumbling around the house…

affenhauer on April 22, 2014 at 9:45 PM

I’ll drink to that.

BruceB on April 23, 2014 at 10:58 AM