Marijuana is not currently legal in New York in a recreational form. It is still considered a schedule 1 drug and not legal to carry in any quantity. It is, however legal for medical use. In 2014 it was made legal for patients suffering from severe medical conditions such as Cancer. Patients require a prescription from their doctor to purchase.
In September of 2014 medical marijuana became legal in the state of New York. People didn’t really start getting prescribed until about December of 2015. The first dispensaries opened their doors on Jan 7th, 2016. As a side note, medical marijuana can not be smoked in the state of New York. Only non combustion means of THC delivery are legal.
In July 2014 a bill was passed by New York Governor Cuomo and the New York legislative that made medical marijuana legal and was meant to address the needs of New Yorker’s that have a need for medical marijuana. The first dispensaries opened up at the start of 2016 in January.