Powdered alcohol cannot legally be sold in any state until it’s federally approved. The Colorado Legislature, with control shared by the two major political parties, is on the verge of sending a bill to the governor that would “ban” the sale of powdered alcohol in the state until it’s federally approved for sale. palcohol_406x250It’s coming out this way because the GOP-controlled Senate was looking for something else to do with House Bill 1031 rather than just killing it. The first half of the 2015 Colorado legislative session was marked by Senate Republicans killing House bills and House Democrats killing Senate bills. When HB 1031 came along last week, Senate amendments changed the bill into something legislative observers said is more of a “timeout” than a ban. It means that powdered alcohol with federal approvals could then be regulated and sold in Colorado like any liquid booze. The “re-revised” HB 1031, which is now more about regulation and banning powdered alcohol, cleared the Senate last week on a 28-7 vote. House Democrats this week must decide whether to adopt the Senate version or take a vote that will kill the bill they originally supported. While the original sponsor of HB 1031 was a Republican, House Democrats quickly embraced the ban. Ahead of the the House vote, debate in Denver is now centered on the title. Can a bill with “ban” in the title also include language about its regulation and taxation in the state once the federal approvals are in? Also, to further confuse people, the title states that the bill is “concerning a ban” and not necessarily an actual ban. Bill titles are supposed to be consistent with their overall content, according to the state’s constitution. All this attention is due to approval that was actually revoked last year for a Phoenix-based company’s powered alcohol product to be marketed under the Palcohol brand. That application remains active before the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.