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Shurtleff appears before DABC for alcohol permit

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Posted at 3:01 PM, Sep 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-30 20:09:59-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff made a surprise appearance before the state's liquor control authority, seeking an alcohol manufacturing permit.

Shurtleff, who is facing criminal charges in connection with a corruption investigation into the Utah Attorney General's Office, is in business with his brother on a "nutraceuticals" product.

Shurtleff spoke briefly to the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, introducing his brother, Kevin, who made a presentation about "Now Nutraceuticals." He demonstrated the product -- inhalers mixed with caffeine for a boost of energy, an appetite suppressant for curbing cravings, or nicotine to help curb smoking.

"Basically, you get one little puff of the formula," Kevin Shurtleff told the DABC, squirting the inhaler for everyone to see.

The inhalers would use ethyl alcohol. The DABC was being asked to issue a manufacturing permit.

Using alcohol in an inhaler raised DABC commissioner Kathleen McConkie-Collinwood's eyebrows. Kevin Shurtleff insisted it was diluted and miniscule. DABC Commissioner Olivia Vela Agraz seemed less concerned about the amount of alcohol in the inhaler and more worried about what else was in it.

"I think the alcohol in your product is negligent," she told him. "There's so many products with caffeine. And these kids that do all these caffeinated drinks and they end up in the hospital because their heart rate goes up so high. It's not the alcohol, it's the caffeine and there's already so much caffeine out there. Do we need an inhaler with caffeine?"

Kevin Shurtleff insisted the amount of caffeine was also small, but took effect faster than what would be in a beverage. The Shurtleffs insisted to the DABC that the product would not cause any intoxication or highs.

In a unanimous vote, the DABC approved Now Neutraceutical's permit request. Kevin Shurtleff said the product does not need FDA approval, but would comply with government guidelines in manufacturing. Mark Shurtleff declined to comment on camera to FOX 13 after the meeting, but confirmed he is a partner in the business venture.

While DABC commissioners did not consider the criminal case pending against the former attorney general, the agency confirmed that if he were to be convicted, state law dictates the license could be revoked.