Powdered alcohol has officially been banned in New York State —long before it was set to hit the shelves.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed off on a ban of the novelty substance on Aug. 14. It is the latest in New York State's long trend of regulating what lawmakers believe to be dangerous alcoholic goods.
New York isn't the first state to ban the freeze-dried, powdered alcohol, which is designed to mix with water to become either stand-alone shots of liquor or full-fledged cocktails.
New York State joined 21 other states in banning powdered alcohol. Sen. Chuck Schumer has also spent the last year pushing a federal law to ban it before the Federal Drug Administration can investigate any possible dangers from powdered alcohol.
But what lawmakers warn is too attractive a danger for underage New Yorkers, Palcohol creator Mark Phillips described as innovative. He called out the state's ban as backwards.
"They're just making stuff up, speculating how it might be used," Palcohol's Phillips said, adding that creating a black market could end up enticing kids to seek it.
"For the legislators and governor to make a decision about a product they know nothing about is irresponsible," he added.
The bill made it to Cuomo's desk without a public hearing or expert medical testimony, said a spokesman for lead sponsor state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, who became active on the matter after his own conversations with local rehabilitation experts and law enforcement in his upstate district.
Cuomo specifically called powdered alcohol "a public health disaster waiting to happen" last week, but his office was not able to respond to questions about the medical expertise that went into the decision to ban it by press time.
In 2006, former Gov. George Pataki also banned machines that vaporized alcohol, also knows as Alcohol Without Liquid machines, that would heat up beverages into a gaseous.
Lawmakers in at least 17 states, including New York, pushed a ban on AWOL machines and again blamed the lack of research into any unknown or untested dangers.
The same preventative approach also led to the ban of Four Loko after the State Liquor Authority forced distributors in 2010 to stop selling the caffeine-laden alcoholic drink nicknamed "blackout in a can."
The decision ultimately forced the drink's creators Phusion Projects to take out caffeine from all its alcoholic drinks sold across the country.
Future of e-Cigs
One of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's final bills he signed off on was one regulating use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers the same way the city treats regular smoking — meaning banned indoors and in public areas — as of April 2014.
The law found bipartisan fans in Albany, where lawmakers still hope to expand the ban statewide. Cuomo already signed off on a law in 2014 that banned sales of liquid nicotine to New York City residents under the age of 21, and required all packages to be childproofed.