California Assembly GO Committee Passes SB 819 to Ban Powdered Alcohol

California Assembly GO Committee Passes SB 819 to Ban Powdered Alcohol


Palcohol Promoter Mark Phillips’ Profit Motives Trumped by Public Health and Safety Concerns

SACRAMENTO, California, June 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA) are reporting that the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee unanimously passed SB 819 today. This occurred despite a lone plea of opposition by Arizona-based Palcohol producer Mark Phillips. The bill, authored by Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), coauthored by Assemblymember Jacquie Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), had previously passed unopposed through the Senate. It will prohibit the possession, purchase, sale, offer for sale, distribution, manufacture, or use of powdered alcohol in California and would make the violation of those provisions punishable with a fine.

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“Permitting the sale of powdered alcohol in California sends the wrong message to youth and young adults about responsible drinking,” said Senator Huff. “Although labeling for this product has already been approved on the federal level, it’s now incumbent on each state to decide if this product should be sold in local neighborhood stores. We need to stop this product before it reaches the market.”

“We applaud Senator Huff, Assemblymember Gray (D-Merced), Chair of the GO Committee, and all the GO Committee members for their continued support of a ban on this youth-attractive, alcoholic substance,” stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO of Alcohol Justice.  “When this bill is passed by the entire legislature and signed by Governor Brown, California will wisely join 32 other states which have already banned the product to protect the health and safety of our young people.”  

AB 1554, an identical measure in the Assembly authored by Assemblymember Irwin and co-authored by Senator Huff, has passed through the Assembly and will be heard in the Senate GO Committee next Tuesday (6/14). Both SB 819 and AB 1554 are supported by an impressive group of public health and safety advocates from across the state including:

  • Alcohol Justice
  • Association of California Healthcare Districts
  • California Academy of Family Physicians
  • California Alcohol Policy Alliance(CAPA)
  • California Association of Driving Under the Influence Treatment Programs
  • California Beer and Beverage Distributors
  • California Craft Brewers Association
  • California College and University Police Chiefs AssociationCalifornia Council on Alcohol Problems
  • California District Attorneys Association
  • California Friday Night Live Partnership
  • California State Sheriffs’ Association
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • City of El Cajon
  • City of Hayward
  • Consumer Federation of California
  • Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors
  • County Behavioral Health Directors Association
  • County Health Executives Association of California
  • County of El Dorado Board of Supervisors
  • Dolores Huerte Foundation
  • Eden Youth and Family Center
  • Health Officers Association of California
  • Institute of Public Strategies
  • Janus of Santa Cruz
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
  • Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance(LADAPA)
  • Lutheran Office of Public Policy California
  • Marin County Board of Supervisors
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
  • San Fernando Valley Partnership for a Positive Pomona
  • Placer County Board of Supervisors
  • Pueblo y Salud
  • Saving Lives Coalition
  • SHIELDS for FamiliesSocial Model Recovery Systems, Inc.
  • Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
  • The Wall Las Memorias Project
  • Ventura County Board of Supervisors
  • Youth Leadership Institute

Last March, Alcohol Justice requested emergency legislative action nationwide and in California in response to news that the U.S. Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) approved labels for the powdered alcohol product, Palcohol. The TTB approval gave a green light to begin marketing it wherever legal. Since then, 32 states have permanently or temporarily banned powdered alcohol, while just three states regulating it under existing alcohol statutes.

“We know that every year over 500 underage alcohol-related deaths occur in California, while underage drinking costs the public $3.5 billion,” said Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO of Alcohol Justice. “Today’s unanimous committee vote sends a strong message that California will not allow this dangerous product to add more harm.”

For more information:  — To TAKE ACTION:

Sound bites:
Senator Huff

Dr. Robert Oldham, Health Officer with Placer County

Bruce Livingston, Executive Director and CEO of Alcohol Justice

Contact: Michael Scippa 415 548-0492 
Jorge Castillo 213 840-3336

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California Assembly GO Committee Passes SB 819 to Ban Powdered Alcohol