Liquor

A bill that would prohibit powdered alcohol in the state is headed to the Idaho House, but it'll likely face changes before lawmakers get another chance to vote on it.

Idaho State Liquor Division Jeff Anderson told the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday that powdered alcohol is prone to abuse by minors and is easily concealable. He says 27 states have already prohibited the substance.

The legislative panel unanimously sent the bill to the House floor to be amended.

Palcohol.com

Last year, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau approved a new form of powdered alcohol for recreational use. Since then, over half of U.S. states have banned the substance. Now, an Idaho legislative committee has introduced a bill that would ban it here.

Mark Phillips is the creator of Palcohol, the trademarked name for powdered alcohol. He says it’s been an uphill battle getting state legislatures to hear his case for why the substance should be legal.

Dave Hosford / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho liquor sales are up.

Idaho State Liquor Division Director Jeff Anderson says sales of distilled spirits in fiscal year 2014 that ended in July went up 4.8 percent over the previous year.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Anderson told lawmakers on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that proceeds reached $63 million.

Anderson in his presentation Friday attributes some of the increase to Washington state residents driving across the border to buy cheaper booze.

Dave Hosford / Flickr Creative Commons

The head of Idaho's liquor division says state liquor stores had about $10 million in additional sales from Washington customers last year.

The Spokesman-Review reports Jeff Anderson told lawmakers that the bump was not so much because the stores sold more bottles statewide, but because northern Idaho stores saw an increase in sales of higher-priced premium liquor products.

A Hood River distillery has the top selling brand of liquor according to sales numbers released by the state of Oregon. But other craft distillers say those hot numbers don’t reflect their experience.

The Washington State Patrol has compiled a full year of data covering drunk driving arrests and crashes since private retailers took over liquor sales in the state.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Over the weekend, the state of Washington marked the one year anniversary of grocers, big box stores and other private retailers being able to sell liquor in Washington state.

The voter approved privatization initiative has sent prices unexpectedly higher, and led to significant increases in sales at Idaho stores near the Washington border.  In Washington, government is collecting more tax revenue than anticipated.