For Immediate Release - March 12, 2015

The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) Issues Advisory On Powdered Alcohol

Treasurer Deborah Goldberg Warns Of Public Health and Safety Risks to Residents of Massachusetts

Thursday, March 12, 2015 – Today the Massachusetts Alcohol Beverages Control Commission issued an advisory on powdered alcohol products.  

"The sale of powdered alcohol is prohibited in Massachusetts, and for good reason," said Treasurer Goldberg. "Our first priority is to protect the health and safety of our residents, especially children."

Powdered alcohol is a condensed form of alcohol.  Because powdered alcohol is a new form of alcohol, there is a risk of inadvertent misuse by people unfamiliar with its potency. Relatedly, given the flavors it currently comes in, there is potential for it to be appealing to teenagers.  Also, because of the size of the package, this product can be concealed easier than liquid alcohol.  

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, nationally, every day, three teens die from drinking and driving.  Further, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, and 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol.

On March 10, 2015 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a Federal agency, approved the sale of four powdered alcohol products.

Massachusetts General Law prohibits the importation, sale, and manufacturing of powdered alcohol. Licenses issued under Massachusetts General Law, including wholesalers and importers, are authorized to sell, manufacture, or import “alcoholic beverages.” Because powdered alcohol does not meet the definition of an alcoholic beverage as defined by Massachusetts Law, these licensees are prohibited from importing, selling, or manufacturing powdered alcohol.

The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission is an agency under the Office of the State Treasurer and Receiver General Deborah B. Goldberg. It is the agency’s overall objective to provide uniform control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, and possession of alcoholic beverages in the state.

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