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Gluten-free alcohol ban: Powdered alcohol controversy grows

Lana Bandoim's picture

A gluten-free powdered alcohol product is being banned by multiple states before it has the chance to hit grocery shelves. Palcohol would give people with celiac disease another beverage option, but legislators are concerned children will gain access to it. Despite the controversy and smaller list of states that will allow sales, the company still plans to release its product.


Palcohol is powdered alcohol sold in packages of one ounce that only require water to be activated, and it is available in several flavors. The Palm Beach Post reports that all of the products are gluten-free. They are sold in vodka V powder and Puerto Rican rum R powder. In addition, four cocktails, the cosmopolitan, mojito, powderita (similar to a margarita) and lemon drop, will be available. The company plans to release its products in the spring.

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Powdered alcohol has been embroiled in controversy for months with several states banning it. You will not be able to purchase it in Vermont, Alaska, Louisiana, Delaware or South Carolina, and more states are considering the ban. Legislators claim the powdered alcohol will be too tempting for children to avoid, but Mark Phillips, the man who created the product, argues the same liquor rules would apply for his product that are already in place to prevent kids from drinking. Critics also state the powdered alcohol can be snorted, used to spike drinks and sneak into venues such as football stadiums. However, the company disputes these claims and is trying to educate the public about the product.

Although many people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities would welcome another alcohol option that is safe, Palcohol is meeting a great deal of resistance around the country. However, powdered beer mixes are available from multiple retailers, yet legislators are not concerned about them.

Read more about celiac disease:
Gluten-free Super Bowl recipe ideas safe for celiac disease
Celiac disease tripled in children in last 20 years