General Law Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-386

Title:

AN ACT BANNING THE PURCHASE, POSSESSION AND SALE OF POWDERED ALCOHOL.

Vote Date:

3/12/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/19/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Sen. Michael A. McLachlan, 24th Dist.

Rep. Theresa W. Conroy, 105th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill would ban the purchase, possession and sale of powdered alcohol.

SB 386 is also the liquor bill bundle package and contains the following bills within it:

SB 388: TO ALLOW THE SALE, DISPENSING AND CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR THROUGHOUT BOWLING ESTABLISHMENT PERMIT PREMISES.

SB 391: TO ALLOW PERSONS WHO ARE SIXTEEN AND SEVENTEEN YEARS OF AGE TO WORK IN ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR PERMIT ESTABLISHMENTS, PROVIDED SUCH PERSONS DO NOT SERVE OR SELL ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR.

SB 874: TO REDUCE WASTE & ENCOURAGE RECYCLING BY AUTHORIZING FARM WINERIES TO DISPENSE FREE SAMPLES OF WINE OR BRANDY FROM GROWLERS.

SB 977: TO AUTHORIZE SMALL ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR MANUFACTURERS TO SELL ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR MANUFACTURED ON THE PREMISES AT RETAIL FROM THE PERMIT PREMISES FOR CONSUMPTION OFF PREMISES.

HB 5033: TO ALLOW THE HOLDER OF A MANUFACTURER PERMIT FOR CIDER TO OFFER TASTINGS, ON THE PREMISES OF THE PERMITTEE, OF FREE SAMPLES OF CIDER AND APPLE WINE MANUFACTURED ON THE PREMISES.

HB 5770: TO REQUIRE HOLDERS OF MANUFACTURER PERMITS FOR BEER, CIDER AND APPLE WINE, APPLE BRANDY AND EAU-DE-VIE, FARM WINERIES, BREW PUBS AND BEER AND BREW PUBS TO OFFER NONALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES FOR SALE TO THE PUBLIC OR PROVIDE FREE DRINKING WATER UPON REQUEST DURING TIMES PERMIT PREMISES ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

HB 6742: TO ALLOW FARM WINERIES TO SELL BRANDY MADE FROM GRAPES HARVESTED ON PREMISES BUT DISTILLED OFF PREMISES.

HB 6454: TO ALLOW PACKAGE STORES TO SELL CIGARS.

***Section 10: H.B. 6859 was removed from the committee bill package via Rep. Orange's amendment to remove this section*** The Proposed Substitute (LCO 5273) became the bill, minus Section 10.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None expressed

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Michael McLachlan, 24th Assembly District

Sen. McLachlan is in favor of this bill and believes that if it is approved by the Federal Government there will be numerous risks associated with this product, mostly with regards to accessibility by teens and adults under the age of 21. Another issue the Senator sees is the possibility of consumers snorting or inhaling this product.

Betsey Chadwick, Director of the Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council

Betsey Chadwick, on behalf of her fellow twelve RAC directors, supports SB 386. According to their research, one ounce of Palcohol powder mixed with 5 ounces of water is equivalent to one standard mixed drink and can be problematic since they feel that the ability to conceal and transport powdered alcohol can lead to abuse by young people as well as those of age.

Pamela Mautte, Director of the Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council

Pamela Mautte supports this bill because she feels it would help to reduce underage drinking in the state, and with an average of 165,000 underage customers engaging in drinking behavior each year, she feels this bill is a step in the right direction.

Peter A. Berdon, Executive Director & General Counsel, Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Connecticut, Inc.

The Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Connecticut strongly support this bill because of the ease of concealment and access to youth who would be most likely to abuse the product, and because of the lack of understanding of the potency of the product, it can be very easy for users to be accidently or intentionally misused.

Peter Faulk, Founder of SoberWorld.org

As the founder of SoberWorld.org, an organization devoted to promoting the message of “Turning Down The Volume” as it pertains to alcohol consumption, he is in support of this bill because in his experience, the ability to conceal, abuse and sneak alcohol in this powdered form will cause even more problems than we already have, as it can be put into capsules, compressed, ingested in dry form and added to existing drinks to increase its alcohol content, secondly, it also sets a bad precedent, it would no longer be a “crafted social product” and would likely fall into the category of being a drug.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None expressed

Reported by: Jason Snukis

Date: March 17, 2015