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.

C 193 L 15

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Protecting children and youth from powdered alcohol.

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

Senate Committee on Law & Justice

House Committee on Commerce & Gaming

Background: A manufacturer plans to market an alcohol product made with a starch – cyclodextrin – that binds alcohol in a dry powder. Consumers add water to the powder to release the alcohol. Powdered alcohol poses health and safety risks to children and youth. The U.S. Alcohol Tobacco and Trade Bureau must approve the alcohol-based product for sale.

Washington laws regulate liquor sales and possession, but powdered alcohol may fall outside current state liquor control laws. These laws prohibit liquor sales to minors. Currently at least six states limit powdered alcohol sales. The states are Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Vermont. Lawmakers in Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio are considering similar laws.

Summary: Powdered alcohol is defined to mean any powder or crystalline substance containing alcohol that is produced for direct use or reconstitution. The possession, sale, and use of powdered alcohol is prohibited in Washington and is subject to prosecution as a misdemeanor except for certain bona fide research purposes.

Votes on Final Passage:







(House amended)




(Senate concurred)


May 7, 2015