Powdered alcohol raises questions with lawmakers

Have you ever heard of powdered alcohol?

It’s a new product that is currently not allowed in the United States. It'[s a product the federal government has looked into, and as discussions continue, some states are taking steps to make sure it never shows up.

“No I never heard about that,” said Sun Mi Kwon when asked about powdered alcohol.

Kwon owns Young’s Wine and Spirits, so she’s used to seeing the liquid form of alcohol, but had never heard about the powdered form.

She wasn’t the only one. In fact, most people KHON2 talked to had never heard of it.

As discussions over powdered alcohol wage on at the Federal level many states including Hawaii are looking to be proactive and stop the product before it ever even hits the market.

“The serious health concerns and safety concerns that are raised by powdered alcohol being readily available particularly to children raises some serious concerns,” said Rep. Della Belatti. “So I think we’re going to have support for this, but of course we need to wait and see,”

If approved, the bill would make it illegal to consume, sell or purchase the powdered alcohol in Hawaii.

For anyone who violated the law it would be a misdemeanor.

“Because it’s a new product we really are relying on the federal regulatory agencies and because they haven’t been exactly clear we are looking to what other states are doing,” said Rep. Belatti.

While it’s still early in the process she says it’s better to act now and make some decisions before the product is made available.

“Because there are unknowns about this new product it may be wise to take some steps now,” said Rep. Belatti.

In April the FDA approved powdered alcohol, but quickly reversed the approval stating that it had been made in error.

The proposed bill is currently being reviewed by lawmakers.


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