Irwin Introduces Bill to Ban Sale of Powdered Alcohol

For immediate release:

New Alcohol Product Concerning to Law Enforcement and Public Health Officials

(Sacramento, CA) – State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) introduced AB 1554, legislation to ban the sale of powdered alcohol in the state of California. “Powdered alcohol has the potential to undermine important laws that protect our youth from alcohol abuse,” remarked Assemblymember Irwin. “I am proud to introduce legislation to keep this dangerous product out of California.”

Powdered alcohol is designed to be easily concealed and transportable. Original marketing for powdered alcohol blatantly promoted sneaking powdered alcohol into concerts and sports venues as an alternative to the expensive alcoholic beverages available for purchase.

In Ventura County, law enforcement officials fear the legal sale of powdered alcohol would pose a threat to teens. “Powdered alcohol poses an unnecessary public health and safety risk because of its high potential for abuse, particularly by youth. It can be dissolved in any liquid and can be carried easily and without detection in many venues such as schools, concerts and movie theaters,” said Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean. “I strongly support Assemblymember Irwin’s bill to ban powdered alcohol in California.”

Powdered alcohol is created through a process in which alcohol is absorbed by a sugar derivative called Dextrin, which can hold 60% of its weight in alcohol. Once mixed with water, powdered alcohol can be consumed like a regular alcoholic beverage. The ease in which it can be concealed and transported raises serious concerns about underage drinking and the potential increase in liability costs for California business owners.

Statewide health officials agree the risks are simply not worth it: "Powdered alcohol is a product that is ripe for abuse, and can easily be marketed to children," says Kat DeBurgh, MPH, executive director of the Health Officers Association of California. "From a public health point of view, powdered alcohol is unsafe for California's communities. The time to act is now."

Several  Powdered alcohol products have been approved by the Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and can be legally sold and purchased in the United States. Widespread concerns from public health and law enforcement officials have prompted similar powdered alcohol bans in 25 states so far. Assemblymember Irwin is working closely with former Senate minority leader Senator Bob Huff on a companion measure that will be introduced in the Senate.

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Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin represents California’s 44th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Camarillo, Casa Conejo, Channel Islands Beach, El Rio, Lake Sherwood, Moorpark, Oak Park, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Rosa Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.

CONTACT: Morgan Culbertson, 805-822-9694