Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Commerce & Gaming Committee

SSB 5292

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Protecting children and youth from powdered alcohol.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Law & Justice (originally sponsored by Senators Roach, Billig, Hasegawa and Benton).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Incorporates powdered alcohol into laws regulating spirits.

Hearing Date: 3/24/15

Staff: David Rubenstein (786-7153).


Powdered alcohol is a form of alcohol encapsulated in a molecular structure that takes a powder form at room temperature. The structure is water soluble, meaning that it can be reconstituted into a liquid for human consumption like other alcoholic beverages.

Washington laws regulate the manufacture, sale, and possession of liquor. Liquor is defined to include "any liquid, semisolid, solid, or other substance" containing more than 1 percent of alcohol by weight. Spirits are a subset of liquor and include alcoholic drinks like whiskey and vodka.

Federal law requires that alcoholic beverages sold in a package must carry a label stating the brand name, alcohol content, and other information. The label must be preapproved by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The TTB recently issued a certificate of label approval for a brand of powdered alcohol intended for human consumption.

Summary of Bill:

Powdered alcohol is incorporated into all statutes regulating the manufacture, possession, purchase, and sale of spirits.

"Powdered alcohol" is defined to mean any powder or crystalline substance containing alcohol that is produced for direct use or reconstitution.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on 03/19/15.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.