Moriarty Pushing Ban on Sale of Powdered Alcohol after Feds Allow the Product to go to Market

On the heels of the federal government approving the sale of powdered alcohol in the U.S., Assemblyman Paul Moriarty is pushing legislation that would prohibit the sale of the product across New Jersey amidst rising concerns.

Powdered alcohol is ethyl alcohol which is designed to be dissolved in liquid to produce alcoholic beverages. Moriarty first introduced the bill in November. However, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau finally approved the sale of powdered alcohol on the market last month, prompting renewed concerns about the dangers the product poses.

“The lure of this product to underage people and the potential for dangerous misuse among people of any age is ripe. Not only can it be inhaled, it can also be added to another person’s food or drink unbeknownst to them,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Because of its composition, powdered alcohol can also be easily concealed and brought into venues where alcoholic beverages from other sources may not be permitted or places where there is a total ban on alcoholic beverages.”

Specifically, Moriarty’s bill (A-3580) stipulates that no person shall sell, offer for sale, or deliver, receive or purchase for resale, in this state, any product consisting of or containing powdered alcohol. The bill defines “powdered alcohol” as a powder or crystalline substance containing alcohol which is produced for human consumption.

Federal approval of the product has prompted fierce opposition from health experts, public health officials and media outlets. At least five states banned the product before its approval and at least 23 other states are considering legislative bans.

“We’re talking about a sugary alcohol substance that can be eaten like the Pixy Stix candy or even snorted. Kids could easily sneak it into school and sports events. All they need to do is add it to water for it to become an alcoholic beverage and with little guidance on how much is too much to consume, the potential for alcohol poisoning is great. With all these potential risks, we would be wise to act quickly to ban the sale before it saturates the New Jersey market.”

Moriarty’s bill has been referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.