Postmedia Network Inc. will no longer be delivering newspapers to schools across Canada in order to comply with federal laws that restrict how cannabis is advertised to minors, the company said Sunday.
A spokeswoman for the Canadian newsmedia company said print deliveries have been cancelled to elementary and high schools across the country that take part in the Newspapers in Education program.
Phyllise Gelfand said the move was necessary to ensure compliance with the Cannabis Act, which restricts cannabis advertising and promotions that could appeal to youth.
The Cannabis Act states that one of its purposes is to “protect young persons and others from inducements to use cannabis.” This includes prohibiting promotions, packaging and types of products that are appealing to minors.
“We deeply regret that this precludes us from delivering print editions to elementary and high schools,” Gelfand said in an email, adding schools received their last round of print deliveries of Postmedia newspapers on Oct. 31.
“We see tremendous value in supporting schools with this program and we are exploring ways to reintroduce the program that comply with the Cannabis Act.”
The Newspapers in Education program is an international initiative that aims to improve media literacy in schools.
Gelfand said schools can still be part of the program by registering for free electronic editions of the papers, which do not contain the cannabis ads.
“This is a rapidly evolving area and we plan to stay appraised of applicable guidelines in order to ascertain whether the program can be reinstated,” said Gelfand.
“We will continue to revisit the issue and may be in a position to reinstate the print NIE program to elementary and high schools.”
Postmedia – whose flagship publications include the National Post, the Montreal Gazette and the Toronto Sun – represents more than 140 brands across print, online and mobile platforms, according to its website.