Idaho Liquor Division

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This week, the director of the Idaho State Liquor Division appeared before the legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Appropriations Committee. Along with putting in the agency’s yearly budget request, the director shared big revenue projections.

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Figures from the Idaho State Liquor Division show the state sold the most alcohol ever in the fiscal year that just wrapped up June 30. One takeaway from the data is it's always 5 o'clock somewhere in Idaho. Sales were up 6.5 percent to over 203 million dollars. Measuring by another standard, the state moved some 12.2 million bottles.

A bill that would prohibit powdered alcohol in the state is headed to the Idaho House, but it'll likely face changes before lawmakers get another chance to vote on it.

Idaho State Liquor Division Jeff Anderson told the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday that powdered alcohol is prone to abuse by minors and is easily concealable. He says 27 states have already prohibited the substance.

The legislative panel unanimously sent the bill to the House floor to be amended.

Last year, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau approved a new form of powdered alcohol for recreational use. Since then, over half of U.S. states have banned the substance. Now, an Idaho legislative committee has introduced a bill that would ban it here.

Mark Phillips is the creator of Palcohol, the trademarked name for powdered alcohol. He says it’s been an uphill battle getting state legislatures to hear his case for why the substance should be legal.

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Idaho liquor sales are up.

Idaho State Liquor Division Director Jeff Anderson says sales of distilled spirits in fiscal year 2014 that ended in July went up 4.8 percent over the previous year.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Anderson told lawmakers on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that proceeds reached $63 million.

Anderson in his presentation Friday attributes some of the increase to Washington state residents driving across the border to buy cheaper booze.

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Some Idaho business owners say the state's laws limiting the number of liquor licenses in each city stunt local economic growth.

The Idaho Statesman reports that Idaho's liquor regulation has resulted in a scarcity of liquor licenses, which in turn has caused business owners to resell licenses at exorbitant costs.

Licenses may be purchased from the state for $750 and in just two years, resold for more than $300,000.

According to Idaho law, each municipality is allotted one liquor license for every 1,500 residents.

Storify: Idaho Bans Five Wives Vodka, Here's What People Are Saying

May 31, 2012
Ogden's Own Distillery

Utah-based distillery Ogden's Own got a lot of attention this week after the Huffington Post and The Associated Press, picked up a story that Idaho liquor regulators told the company it couldn't sell its 'Five Wives' Vodka in the Gem State. 

Idaho Bans 'Five Wives' Vodka

May 29, 2012
Ogden's Own Distillery

A Utah micro-distillery can't sell its latest vodka in the state of Idaho. 

The Huffington Post reports the Idaho State Liquor Division banned Five Wives Vodka because the name is offensive.

Here's more from HuffPo: