It might not be that long before Floridians are able to enjoy a sip of Palcohol.

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday added a "sunset" provision to legislation (HB 1247), filed by Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah, and Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, that would prohibit the sale of powdered alcoholic beverages in Florida.

Unless lawmakers extended the ban, it would expire on July 1, 2016. The sponsor of the amendment, Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, said his language would allow Florida to consider what happens in other states and "decide whether we want to have a permanent ban or whether we want to regulate it later."

But Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, said he understood the intent of the sunset but was worried about having something only be a crime for a short period of time, especially given the way the penalties could escalate for someone convicted multiple times. " I am a little concerned that ... this will result in a misdemeanor and then a third-degree felony, and then a felony of up 10 years, and then one year later, we might be in the position of saying, 'Oops, there's no crime at all,' " McBurney said.

Florida and other states are weighing whether to allow powdered forms of alcohol, with much of the attention on Palcohol, which recently received approval from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

From our media partner News Service of Florida


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