Leader-Post cancels paper delivery to schools over cannabis ads

The Regina Leader-Post has stopped providing schools with print editions of its paper due to restrictions on the advertisement of cannabis products to minors.

New laws restrict the advertising of cannabis products to those under age

The Regina Leader-Post has cancelled delivery of its print edition to schools in to comply with new advertising restrictions on cannabis products. (CBC)

The Regina Leader-Post has stopped providing schools with print editions of its paper due to restrictions on the advertisement of cannabis products to minors.

The CBC received an email reportedly sent to Regina public schools stating that as of Oct. 31 the Leader-Post has cancelled all print deliveries of the paper to elementary and high schools that received copies as part of the Leader-Post's Newspapers in Education program.

The cancellation is an attempt to comply with new laws in the Cannabis Act that regulate the advertising of cannabis products to minors.

The Act prohibits promotion and advertising that may encourage cannabis use in those under the legal age of consumption. With the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, some ad content in the print edition of the Leader-Post may not comply with these regulations.

The Newspapers in Education program promotes the use of newspapers in schools as a learning resource in the classroom by providing access to the Leader-Post at little or no cost. Previously, schools could choose to subscribe to both print and electronic editions.

The Leader-Post will now provide participating schools and classrooms with a special electronic edition of the paper that has all cannabis-related advertising removed, free of charge.

Schools will have until Nov. 15, 2018 to sign-up for the ePaper edition of the Leader-Post.

When asked to comment, Postmedia provided CBC with the following statement:

"We deeply regret that this precludes us from delivering print editions to elementary and high schools. 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. We currently offer an electronic edition which is an exact replica of the print edition with cannabis ads digitally removed – as part of the Newspapers in Education program."

CBC was unable to confirm if this policy is being applied to other Postmedia publications that also run Newspapers in Education programs.

— With files from Alex Soloducha