The usage you question is definitely a usage that is frequently criticized. "Grammar Girl" Mignon Fogarty writes:
most grammar sources I checked (2, 3, 4) agree that ‘is comprised of’ is an incorrect phrase.
She cites many of the usual suspects in schoolmarm-style prescriptive rules of this sort: Garner's Modern American Usage, Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors, and Walraff’s Word Court. Strunk and White weigh in equally stridently:
Literally, "embrace": A zoo comprises mammals, reptiles, and birds (because it "embraces," or includes them). But animals do not comprise ("embrace") a zoo—they constitute a zoo.
The Corpus of Contemporary American English has hundreds of examples of “is comprised of”, mostly in academic writing. Despite being labeled as “an incorrect phrase”, the usage shows up frequently, and grew in popularity throughout the 20th century.
Dictionaries have usage notes indicating that this usage is criticized, but they tend to be more descriptive, and list “compose” as a sense for “comprise,” as does American Heritage and Merriam-Webster. American Heritage notes that opposition to the usage has abated in their usage panel between the 1960s and 1996.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage has a very extensive entry detailing the history of this usage rule. They were only able to antedate the rule to 1903, which if you look at the Google Ngram for “is comprised of”, is right about when the usage started to take off.
Generally speaking, it does not seem that the continuous tide of criticism of this usage
has slowed its growth. If we compare relative use of passive constructions of “composed” and “comprised”, we see that this disputed usage is rapidly approaching parity of usage with the recommended replacement:
It does appear that the new sense of “comprise” is an inexorable change in the language. Whether or not you want to use is up to you—now that you know it is frequently criticized you may want to avoid it if you want to avoid being criticized.