After an unusual turn of events, a House panel Tuesday approved a bill that would block the sale of new powdered forms of alcoholic beverages.

The vote by the House Business & Professions Subcommittee to approve the bill (HB 1247) came after sponsor Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah, sought to reverse course and regulate the sale of powdered alcohol --- instead of banning it.

Avila proposed a regulatory amendment, but the subcommittee turned down that proposal. "24 hours ago, this was a prohibit bill and now it's a (proposed) authorize bill, ,'' said Rep. Scott Plakon, a Longwood Republican who opposed the amendment. "And I think without a staff analysis even explaining it, I'm uncomfortable moving forward this quickly on something this serious."

But Avila said regulations are needed if the new type of powdered spirits starts being sold in Florida.

"I don't want it to be on shelves without any sort of regulation whatsoever,'' he said. The issue centers, at least in part, on "Palcohol,'' which is a powdered form of vodka or rum.

A website for Palcohol says it can be combined with water or mixers to create beverages with alcohol contents like typical mixed drinks. Critics warn of potential problems with minors getting powdered alcohol.

From our media partner News Service of Florida


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