A new powdered alcohol product appears likely to be banned in Maryland, and now it's just a matter of how long "Palcohol" will be kept off retailer's shelves.
The House of Delegates on Tuesday voted 119-21 to ban the substance for 13 months, the morning after the Maryland Senate voted 45-2 to ban it for two years. Both chambers will need to agree on a time frame in order for the temporary ban to become law, but it appears certain the new product is unlikely to arrive in Maryland liquor stores any time soon.
If the ban is enacted, Maryland would join a growing number of states to temporarily outlaw the substance, which the Federal Drug Administration recently approved for sale.
Public health advocates and others worry it would be easy for minors to access and could easily lead to abuse. Its developer contends it's a convenient alternative for outdoorsmen and other people because it is lighter to carry than bottled alcohol.
Last month, Comptroller Peter A. Franchot negotiated with the state's alcohol retailers and distributors to enact a voluntary ban on Palcohol.
Gov. Larry Hogan has not take a public position on such a ban.